GAME OF THRONES - Season 2
With Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Iain Glen, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Richard Madden, Charles Dance
Directed by Alan Taylor, Alik Sakharov, David Petrarca, David Nutter, Neil Marshall
The cinematic quality production of this series can rival any feature film.
The contrasting worlds from frozen to desert lands also reflect in the character traits. While the Stark and Lannister rivalry erupted in season 1 after the execution of their patriarch, the accidental death of king Baratheon had his unstable spoilt son Joffrey descend the coveted iron throne (but is in fact the inbred child of his manipulating Lannister mother Cersei and her brother Jaime). Some Starks flee, others are held captive, and teen daughter Sansa is set to marry Joffrey against her will. But far away in the Dothraki lands Daenerys Targaryen is adamant to resurrect the once believed extinct dragons from three fossilized eggs, and build an army to seize power.
Where it seems like a world dominated by ruthless men and draconian rule, the strong female characters become very apparent, from Cersei to Daenerys (the Mother Of Dragons).
The vast mythology, cultures and languages created for the different groups vying for ultimate control expands even more in this series.
War is looming with many pronouncing themselves to be the rightful king, from Starks and Lannisters to Baratheons and more. Fragile alliances are forged, promises made and black magic unleashed. Another intertwining plot-line has Eddard Stark's bastard son Jon Snow (who joined the restrictive King's Watch patrolling the 700 foot high ice wall separating them from the inhospitable frozen north) - they head into the icy wild beyond the wall to look for missing rangers.
With Joffrey proving to be a cowardly child king as everyone knows, his dwarf uncle Tyrion Lannister has to come to the family's aid to prevent them from being overrun from many fronts, including land and ocean.
The season ends with a frozen menace edging its way from the north.
The characters are all callous and manipulating in their own ways, life being cheap and self-serving lust for power an all-present way of being. However, some characters show compassion, a sense of morality and justice, but very rarely, and can very easily be corrupted or betray.
Bonus features include a look at the making of the big battle sequence; the creators talk about the various religions in this world; key actors relay their experience shooting the second series; and there are several commentary tracks from writers, producers and actors.
While channels like Showtime has also been producing content to rival HBO, AMC has made quite an impact with game changing and addictive original TV programming like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, and as with those, this series will be a yardstick for many to measure new shows by.
6 / B
- Paul Blom
cover images below
Game Of Thrones series