Game of Thrones Season 2 Review

Game of thrones season 2

Arya stark
Arya (Photo credit: Jemimus)

Before i start the review i need to share something. After watching the first season of HBO's Game of Thrones something happened. I willingly decided to check out a book, not only one book but five of them (the entire song of ice and fire series - so far). It took me five month but i finished the entire series, and it was worth it.
For people who don't like reading can check out the Song of ice and fire audiobooks which are very good .

Be aware spoilers inside


This season there are four very important characters that we are introduced to:
  • Stannis Baratheon - Robert's younger brother and the right heir to the Iron Throne.
  • Davos Seaworth - A former smuggler and a loyal subject of Stannis.
  • Melisandre - The red Priestess and the main advisor of Stannis.
  • Brienne - A large and unattractive worrier woman from the house of Tarth.
This season starts exactly where the first season ended.
In this review i will focus on the most active / important characters from this season who took part in making this season of Game of thrones so good.

Arya Stark

Bjorn took Arya under his wing and is trying to help her escape kings landing and get her back to Winterfell. Bjorn teaches Arya how to deal with the pain of losing her father by creating a list of people that Arya ... let's call it "Dislikes" and every time she feels bad she repeats the names of the people she wants to be eliminated (this list makes Arya such a major bad-ass, i can't wait for her to start killing all the guys from the list). Gendry, Loumy, and Hotpie accompany Arya in this journey. Unfortunately the gang is attacked by the Lanisters, Bjorn and Loumy get killed and Arya, Gendry and Hotpie become prisoners of the Lanisters. Meanwhile Arya develops an interesting relationship with Jaken Hagar. After Arya saves Jaken's life (and two other prisoners), Jaken offers Arya three deaths for the red god in retribution for the three lives she saved. 

The first two kills that Arya orders are impulsive decisions and she realizes it towards the end of the season right after Tywin Lanister decides to leave Harenhall. Arya understands that she shouldn't have thought about herself and her personal wishes but she should have thought about the bigger picture she understands that if she would have ordered the death of Tywin Lanister she could of ended the war, help her brother and return home. All in one sweep death, but it was too late Tywin has left and Arya was left with one more death to choose.

Arya asks Jaken to help her escape Harrenhall instead of giving Jaken the third name, when Jaken refuses she names Jaken as the guy she wants dead. Jaken freaks out and accepts Arya's wish to help her escape Harrenhall. After the escape when Arya meets with Jaken once again he changes his face, gives her a coin and tells her if you ever want to learn of what i know give this coin to a man from bravos tell him "Valar Morghulis".

John Snow 

John and the rest of the Nights Watch are headed north beyond the wall, wilding territory. Beyond the wall our black bunch encounters the Craster character. This guy is a piece of work, the dude has multiple number of wife’s - something I’m ok with. If a dude wants to diversify every once and a while, it’s his choice. So far so good, but here it gets repulsive. The dude marries his daughters as well and they become his wife's/daughter's and they give him more daughter. That's some sick stuff.

John and Sam encounter one of Craster’s Wife/Daughter Gilli. Gilli is pregnant and wants to escape from Craster to save her child because she suspects that her child is a boy. While the black brothers stayed at Craster's place John noticed that one night Craster was carrying a baby into the woods left him there as a gift for a giant. I guess it’s not fun to be the son of Craster.

Beyond the wall Craster updates the black bunch that according to rumors the king beyond the wall gathered himself an army and he is about to march south. Meanwhile John is exposed to the politics side of things. At first he can’t grasp why the Lord Commander even deals with Craster, more than that Mormount treats Craster with the highest respect. While John and the rest of the black brothers feel a strong contempt towards Craster. Only after John gets on Mormount’s nerves after another conflict with Craster, Mormount pulls John a side and explains to him that whatever Craster is doing inside his own walls he cannot judge him for that and take his head off. Mormount and the nights watch need Craster. There were multiple times in the past that Craster outpost was the only place in miles that was a refuge for the black brothers from the cold and rest of the things that run wild beyond the wall.

When the Black bunch decide to move out and proceed to the fist John snow volunteers to join Qhorin Halfhand to a ranging expedition in order to find out what the wildings are planning. John and the rangers encounter a small group of wilding scouts, who they kill except one "Ygritte" (one of many great supporting new characters introduced this season). Qhorin Halfhand tells John to "get rid of her" but John doesn't have the stones to take out a girl, Ygritte took advantage of the fact that John was being a wussy and ran for it, by the time John caught up with her he lost the tracks of Qhorin Halfhand and the rest of the rangers. They wonder around for a while, Ygritte makes fun of John for joining the Nights Watch, implying that anyone who decides willingly to join the black is a HOMO (she is right - why would a dude willingly give up the pleasures of life to be stuck freezing on a dame wall with other dudes who are mostly criminals).

Sansa Stark

Sansa is still trapped in kings landing with the Lanisters. She continues to be Jeffery's punching bag, keeps on being afraid of her shadow and that is why she doesn't make any moves to escape when there is opportunity for it. Next season it will be slightly more interesting (the season of weddings and all).

Catelyn Stark (Tully)

Just when Catelyn decides to leave Rob's camp and go back to Winterfell reunite with Bran and Rickon, Rob gives his mother an important mission. Ride south to negotiate a peace with Renly Baratheon in order to crush the Lanisters from North and the South. When Catelyn arrives to Renly's camp she is surprised to discover that instead of preparing to fight a war Renly is more occupied in boosting the moral of his man by display of battles between his best knights. The funny thing about the main tournament is the winner in the main event. The winner was a ... woman, a large woman but still she beat the gay knight of flowers in the final. This large woman is Brienne of Tarth, or as her enemy's call her "The Maid of Tarth". As a result of Brienne's victory at the tournament she is sworn to Renly's royal guard.

When Renly gets killed by the shadow Breinne becomes the main suspect especially after she takes out two guards. Catelyn convinces Breinne to escape Renly's camp otherwise she will be killed. During their escape Catelyn and Breinne agreed to watch each other's backs in the future, This agreement is kind of one sided if you think about it, Breinne will protect Catelyn and ... that's pretty much it Breinne is Catelyn's b**ch, except for one condition, if Breinne will have an opportunity to kill Stanis Catelyn will not stand in her way. Still looks one sided, Breinne is no Tirion as it looks here.

This season like in the past season Catelyn was responsible for one of the biggest WRONG decisions made by an individual in the story. She ... wait for it ... she let Jaime Lanister go ... When i read it in the book i was like what exactly just happened now. Why would you do that, it makes no sense. Seeing it visually was completely the same. Her character generally seen as thinker that most likely to have been a better hand of the king than her husband was but rarely she has those spontaneous boosts of bad decision making that tends to screw stuff over in a radical way.

I just can't understand Catelyn's logic. Only a woman can do the stupid sh*t she does and get away with it. Now when i cooled down a little let's try and see it from Catelyn's perspective:
  • + She received the dead corps of her husband as gesture of goodwill from Tirion. 
  • - She didn't receive the Stark family sword (Ice).
  • - She didn't receive a concrete evidence of the faith of Arya.
  • - She was promised that if she releases Jaime the Lanisters will release both girls (she didn't receive a guaranty).
I have to say again that Catelyn's logic has no sense. How can she believe Tirion's promise when she herself said and constantly thinks to herself that the Lanisters cannot be trusted.
She gave up Rob's only playing chip against the Lanisters. I don't have to explain the meaning of having Jaime Lanister as a prisoner but i will do it anyway. As long as the Northern Alians (the North and the River-lands) and the Lanisters hold to their prisoners Sansa and Arya. Jaime (whose value is a lot bigger than Sansa and Arya taken together) is hold on the Northern Alians side there was a backup plan for both sides to be saved from death. Let's say the Lanisters loose the war, they can still keep their heads by trading the Stark girls for their lives the same applies to the Northern Alians. If the Northern Alians loses the war they can trade Jaime to save their lives. Instead Catelyn decided to piss against the wind and see what happens. Now when Jaime Lanister is out and on the loose, its an all new other game, when the Northern Alians is in a clear disadvantage.
What Catelyn did was not a simple blind stupidity of mother caring for the fate of her daughters, it was pure madness that can doom them all.

Stannis Baratheon

We are introduced to Stannis, Davos and Melisandre at Dragonstone. Dragonstone is Stannis Baratheon's headquarter, given to him by his older brother Robert for great military effort. 

Stannis understands that his options are limited and the only option that is left for him is to declare himself king and proceed to the war with the Lanisters for the Iron Tron. Stannis acknowledges the crucial mistake Eddard Stark made by sending the letter informing Stannis about Joffrey's origins and that is why Stannis sends a similar letter to every corner of the kingdom. Unfortunately this was to late, and i will explain why. One of my biggest problems with Stannis was: When shit hit the fan at the beginning of the story (the death of John Arryn). Stannis ran back to Dragonsttone and stayed there until Joffrey was crowned as king. The moment John Arryn died Stannis knew exactly what  is Joffrey's origin was and even after receiving a letter from Eddard Stark, Stannis decided to do nothing (he was afraid that if he will share this information with Robert, Robert might kill him). The fact that he waited to long to expose the Lanister children cost him dearly, not only because Joffrey was crowned as king but because he lost the support of Storm's End. The entire conflict with Renly could been prevented, even more than that i think that if Stannis crowned himself before Renly both Baratheones would of been on the same page they could make an agreement with the Starks to crush the Lanisters all together from the North and South simultaneously. 

I really believe that Renly wouldn't declare himself as king if Stannis would of done it first (Renly just wouldn't have any eligibility to do it). Renly felt that he needed to act fast, he knew the Queen for what she is (a really evil B**ch).

Stannis declares himself as king of Westeros. He burns the seven statues that represent the old gods and declares himself for Melisandra's new god, the god of light. Stannis himself is not a really big believer in gods, he is more of a practical man. He believes in what he can see and feel. Melisandra somehow gained an influence on Stannis and convinced him that he needs the help of new god to become a king. When Stannis and Renley have their confrontation you can clearly see why Stannis is not a very popular dude. He takes stubbornness too far. Instead of uniting and taking out the Lanisters who are hated the most to all of the three parties (Renly, Stanis and Catelyn) and then fight for the spoils. When Catelyn made the suggestion to Renly he was positively considering it, unfortunately when the suggestion came up at the triple confrontation Stannis wouldn't hear of it. The entire confrontation he was pissed at Renly, and didn't hear anything else. Even if Stannis was in a cooler mind he wouldn't joint with the Starks because he saw Rob as a rebel and a thief that stole part of his kingdon.

After Stannis understood that he needs to remove Renly out of the way. Melisandre proposed to do it in a more "interesting" way, she convinced Stannis to do the funky business with her in order to create something that will take care of the Renly problem. Stannis doesn't think twice (and why should he Melisandre looks good) and does the did, afterwards he orders Davos to smuggle Melisandre to Renly's camp, where Melisandre gives birth to the shadow "thing", Davos is in a complete shock like expected and he convinced even more that he should stay away from the red woman. This is the first time where we as the viewer's encounter a major magical event.

The moment Renly's corpse gets cold most of his banner men (except the Tyrels) flock to the side of Stannis, and they ship to Kings Landing to take on the Lanisters.

Daenerys Targaryen

Fire and Blood (Game of Thrones)
Fire and Blood (Game of Thrones) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This season Daenerys didn't have much to do. She was wondering in the desert with her group of misfits in the first episodes, until she was invited to the city of Quarth to showcase her dragons.
From there on it became a one big shmooze of boredom. Xaro Xhoan Daxos was bragging nonstop what a great business man he is in order to seduce Daenerys and marry her, and this was going on and on ... and on until the end of the season. Daenerys tried to convince the rulers of Quarth to give her ships to conquer Westeros but the representative of the Quarth council rejected her claim (in a very cool way), he practically exposed her for the spoiled little brat who doesn't understand her surroundings. Daenerys thought that because she is a Targaryen she will get whatever she asks for, and that was so wrong. The world doesn't work like that. It was a great chance for her to learn an important lesson (unfortunately she didn't learn nothing and will grow to be an even a bigger B***h than she is now).

Her scenes got better towards the end when the dragons were stolen, and most of her gang of misfits got killed in the process.

After Xaro Xhoan Daxos and the weird bald guy took the dragons Daenerys had no choice and went to the House Of The Undying.
Game of thrones season 2 - Jorah Mormont and Daenerys in the desert
This will come maybe as a surprise to you all but Daenerys is one of characters i hate the most in the story. When i read the books, the most painful chapters that i had to read were Daenerys's chapters. With all that said one of the most important chapters ... i won't say in the entire "The song of ice and fire" series but it was one of the most memorable for the entire series and fun to read, was the chapter where Daenerys enters The House Of The Undying. That is why, the only thing i expected this season from the Daenerys's scenes was the House Of The Undying. Unfortunately i was majorly disappointed (i will explain more towards the end of the review).

Tirion Lannister

Tirion returns to Kings Landing after attending a war campaign next to his father, to act as the hand of the king instead for his father while Tywin continues his war campaign with the Starks.

This season Tirion takes upon himself the role of the hand and rules the kingdom, in between he tries to stay one step ahead of his sister (by exposing and disposing from Cercie's molls in the small council) as well as hiding his whore lover from her. Tirion exposes Joffrey for the sick screw-up on every turn for the entire season, tries to protect Sansa from Joffrey, he plots to rescue his brother and prepares for the battle against the Baratheons.

Over all Tirion enjoys his new job as if he was born for it.
Tirion takes a major part at the defense and the triumph of Kings Landing against Stannis and even gets injured during the battle (in his face) but doesn't receive any credit for it not from Cersie, Joffrey and not even from his father.

Jaime Lanister 

Half of the season he was in captivity and the other half the time he was getting on Breinne's nerves while she was escorting him back to kings landing. originally Jaime wasn't supposed to do nothing these season, so what little he had to do this season was fine by me. Next season he will have plenty to do ... bye bye hand

Theon Greyjoy

This season Theon feels the real freedom for the first time since he was ten years old. That is why he makes so many crucial mistakes which he will regret dearly in the near and far future. This season Theon makes the journey back to his real home at Pyke.
Theon thinks of himself a prince coming back home and he is surprised that nobody welcomes him, nobody even knows that he came back.

When Theon meets his father, Baylon doesn't really acknowledges Theon. Baylon thinks that the fact that Theon lived so many years with the Starks made Theon soft, that is why Baylon puts more trust at his only daughter Yara.

After Baylon declines Theon's proposal to Join Rob in the war against the Lanisters Baylon convinces Theon to Join him and attack the North. Theon excepts and decides to conquer Winterfell. surprisingly he succeeds in the goal he put in front of himself, but here everything goes downhill for Theon. Its one thing to conquer a city but its another thing to hold it.
The local population of Winterfell doesn't except Theon as the new Ruler of Winterfell, and on top of that Bran and Rickon escape. Those events make Theon look weak and he is desperate to find the two Stark boys, when he fails to find them he takes to boys from a village near by kills them and puts their heads on spikes of Winterfell for all to see in order to erase the humiliation of their escape.

In between the events Theon executed Roderick Cassel (in a very poor showing).
In the end when Theon and the Iron men get pinned in Wintherfell by an unknown army (The bustard of Bolton) the Iron men turn on Theon, and Theon's story ends just like that for this season.

House Tyrell

Last season we were introduced to the gay knight Lorece Tyrell who by the way was doing some homo stuff with Renly Baratheon.
This season we were introduced to Margery Tyrell, sister of Lorece. Apparently the Tyrells are just like the Lanisters (as the drunken knight mentioned in the books) they are hungry for power and control, nothing will stop them to reach their goals. It is easily reflected on Margery, who is supposedly married to Renly to be his wife and Queen of the seven kingdoms the moment Renly will win the war. Margery knows about the homo stuff that is going on with Renly and Lorece and it doesn't bother her, she has a much higher goal to be a Queen. She even told Renly if he has a problem making a baby with her, Lorece can help Renly get into the mood (a sick devils three way).
Next season we will see more of the Tyrell's and it will be fun.

The bad stuff:

Most of the things that i didn't like this season were all the changes the producers made compared to the books.

  • Qhorin Halfhand - The fact that Qhorin Halfhand Supposedly attacked John for no clear reason. The entire scene was confusing for people who didn't read the books add to that the fact that Ghost didn't help out John in the battle as it was in the books just hurts the plot progress in the future, because the entire time John will be hanging with the wildings they will make fun of him from the fact that he is a wuss than needed the help of the wolf to kill Qhorin Halfhand.
  • Chain - The fact that there was no mention to the huge chain that Tirion ordered to make, in order to trap the Baratheon fleet in the black-water battle is insulting.
  • Theon - The entire deal with Theon and his fall is completely ridiculous. Where is the bastard of Bolton? now how will they connect Theon to him? The producers created a huge ass problem for themselves with all the events with Theon.
  • Talisa - Talisa or whatever her name was (aka Jane Wasterling). This was just wrongly done.  This angle that the producers were trying to show that Rob falls for a simple humanitarian chick that helps soldiers from both sides is a complete bullcrap. I understand that they wanted to educate the viewers that people need to help each other no matter what side they are and bla bla bla ... . The problem with that is that they completely missed on the idea that lead to the secret wedding between Rob and Talisa (Jane). They will have a lot of work on their hands to recover from the Talisa fiasco next season. I cant wait to see what they will do with it, because this Rob and Talisa thing was supposed to be the preparation for the biggest event in the entire song of ice and fire series, and so far they made a very poor job preparing us for it.
  • The House of the Undying - Like i mentioned before, i was very disappointed from the House of the Undying scene. The only visual scene they showed in the TV version of the House Of The Undying was the scene were Drogo holds a kid and tells Daenerys bunch of unimportant things. They could of done so much more. There were visions that Daenerys saw that were so much important than Drogo and the kid. I understand that they wanted to create the drama of Daenerys seeing Drogo once again and to create the love schmooze fest for a few moments (my beloved warlord/slaver/rapist i missed you so much ... bla bla bla). Instead that crap they could of shown the scenes with the:
  1. The hot chick being ravished by the four dwarfs - a great analogy for the events in Westeros.
  2. It would be great to see more or less of a normal Targeryan's for a change (Vicerys was crazy and Daenerys is not far behind ). Rhager naming his son Aegon as "Prince that was promised" could have been cool to see.
  3. I understand that they had to have limitations and they couldn't have shown all of the events Daenerys saw and importantly the most important vision (in my opinion) of the feast of slaughtered corpses where a certain man with something on his head sits on the throne. I agree that if they have showed that it would be to obvious and would of completely killed the finale of season three.

The good stuff:

  • The failed escape of Jaime Lanister - It was not in the books but still the idea was interesting and logical, that is why i liked it. Most importantly not like with the fall of Theon and all the shmooze with Talisa this event will not affect the events to follow. This just makes Jaime Lanister look as a bigger villain from one point of view and as a true survivor that is trying to do everything in his power to escape his captivity. Even if it means killing his cousin, although he always saw more of a Frey in him than a Lanister - and i think that fact made it easier for Jaime to sacrifice his cousin's life in order for him to try and escape. The only problem with that is going to surface when the producers will have to start making the transformation of Jaime, bringing him back from "The dark side". I think that they are counting on the events with the hand to bring sympathy to Jaime's character. Will see what happens next season.
  • Arya and Tywin -The best scenes and dialogs this season were the ones between Arya and Tywin. From one side you had Arya who knew exactly who Tywin Lanister is, and from the other side you had Tywin Lanister that knew that Arya is not a simple girl from the North. Tywin suspected that Arya's origins from a prestige northern family but he couldn't have imagined how prestige, that is why he didn't give too much thought to the issue. After all he had a war on his hands to win. It was great to see the exchanges between them.


I enjoyed this season a lot. The changes that were made bugged me a little but the overall it was a great season. I cannot wait for season three, this season is supposed to be the highlight of the song of ice and fire series (the clash of kings book was the most eventful compared to all the books released so far). I hope that the producers keep the changes to the minimum and won't exaggerate with them. as long as they stick to the books it is going to be awesome, unfortunately as we witnessed this season they tend to make changes and those changes don't work well - most of the time.

A Song of Ice and Fire Amazon Boxed Set

ASOIAF Book set

HBO's Game of Thrones DVD Set (all Seasons)

 Game of Thrones:  Second Season dvd Game of Thrones:  Third Season Blu-ray Game of Thrones:  4th Season (Blu-ray)

photo credit: Jemimus via photopin cc

About Sasha Shapiro

Sasha is the founder and editor of Cool Reviews Rule. He is very passionate about Movies, TV Shows and some Books. His favorite genres are: Action, Fantasy, History, Horror, Sci-fi and Adventure.
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  1. Me to

    The 3rd book was the best so far. Like i said in the review if the producers wont make to many changes it will blow people away