Boob Tube Review: Game Of Thrones, Season 2, Ep. 1

In the Boob Tube Review, we discuss the television we've been watching. There are usually plenty of spoilers, so beware:

Well, the game this week seemed to be "How Many Storylines Can You Stuff Into One Season Premiere". I mean, phew! Shit is getting complicated up in here. The second season kicked off by whizzing around in a whir of brief updates and plot points so labyrinthian they make War & Peace look like a travel brochure.

The princess turned rape survivor turned dragon queen is leading what's left of her army through the desert, hoping to take the Iron Throne; the bother of the dead King (the dead King who got killed by a pig, not that other dead King who went crazy with the burning of people alive until they regicided his ass) has suddenly appeared with some sort of weird pagan army and a bunch of new characters, also hoping to take the Iron Throne; the new self-proclaimed King of The North is leading his army south, hoping to win independence from the Iron Throne; and that blonde, blood-thirsty, inbred family of assholes who actually currently control the throne are so stressed out trying to hold on to power that they don't even really seem to be enjoying their power-hungry killing spree. Well, except for that prick King kid of theirs. He seems to enjoying himself quite a bit for a guy whose mom is also his aunt.

Meanwhile, there are two entire armies who I'm pretty sure we didn't even get to see at all this week (although they were cycling by pretty quickly; I might have blinked and missed one): a new army led by what I think is the dead King's other brother (you know, the gay one) who (surprise!) wants to seize the Iron Throne, and that other army belonging to those rich blonde assholes. I mean, what exactly is the population of the Seven Kingdoms? Because with all these armies marching around, each of them filled with tens of thousands of men, who exactly is left behind to do all the peasant stuff and merchant stuff and walk through the background in all those shots of King's Landing?

Oh and the one storyline that doesn't really have anything to do with the Iron Throne at all? The one that promised to be the coolest (no pun intended) of this new season? The one with the Night Watch marching into the frigid snows north of the really, really, really, really, really BIG WALL they built to protect themselves from the oh-so-scary and mysterious demon snow zombies who seem to live on the other side of it? What happens to them? Oh, well they learn that on the other side of the wall some other guy has formed another army.

Apparently not even the Queen Mum of the North can keep everything straight. "There's a king in every corner now," she complains at one point, exasperated. And she's had weeks to figure it all out. All we got was 45 minutes.

I mean, what is that, like six different armies? Plus, I haven't even mentioned the kid with the paralyzed legs and his storyline; or his sister, pretending to be a boy, running away with the dead King's other bastard son (dude! keep it in your pants!) who I'll only ever be able to think of as Chris from Skins; or the perpetually nude women of the brothels, who, to be fair, weren't so much a real storyline this week (or any week for that matter) as just a way to work in some gratuitously naked breasts and heavy sighing.

After waiting nearly a year for the show to come back, I guess I was happy just to see all these characters back on my screen again. But man, here's hoping that next week we'll get to spend more than a couple of minutes with each of them.

- Adam Bunch


Photo: one of the very few characters who isn't a King. At least not yet.

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Christina said...

I was worried that reading the books this past year would ruin my experience watching the show, but I think you'd be pretty lost without doing it! And it's only going to get worse!

My only real complaint about this episode - I don't understand why they didn't tell you where things were happening. For example, in the Season 1 premier, they wrote on the screen the names of new locations, so you could learn where they are, but this time they didn't identify Dragonstone, so unless you caught it in the title sequence, you wouldn't know. This world is big and complex and only going to get bigger, so they need to make sure that viewers can follow along geographically.

Adam Bunch said...

Yeah, actually, I noticed Dragonstone on the map in the credits and figured it was going to come up... and then it didn't seem to.

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