Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Game of Thrones 2.10: Valar Morghulis

Winter is Coming

Well we have finally come to it: the second season finale. I will say as far a television season finales go, this one seems a little more subdued. It does manage to touch on every storyline but there is no giant cliffhanger. It almost seems like this episode serves to provide closure on the current storylines and then gives them a little nudge in the direction they now need to turn. This actually makes sense since the second season is based off of the second book. The way each of the storylines end, you can tell that these are the endings provided by the book, giving the reader closer but also jumpstarting new storylines that will take place in the third book.

The most exciting event that happens in this episode is the return of Khal Drogo. Daenerys travels to the House of the Undying in search of her dragons. This is a magical tower which has no doors but somehow Daenerys is transported inside. As she searches for her dragons, she opens a door which leads her to castle ruins covered in snow. She explores the tundra and happens upon a tent. Inside she finds her love, Khal Drogo with their baby boy. This is a heartfelt scene for you really get to see the love these two share for each other. Drogo also voices the inner thoughts of the viewer as he wonders what their meeting is: a dream, Daenerys’s death, his waiting for Daenerys to join them. Even though Daenerys knows this is black magic and not real, it takes all of her will power to walk away and leave her two greatest loves behind. When she returns to the room with all the doors, she sees her dragons chained. Pyat Pree appears and chains Daenerys up as well. As he gloats that he now has Daenerys Stormborn captive and her dragons will make his powers stronger, Daenerys commands her dragons to fire upon Pyat, and he burns in front of her. She then escapes and exerts her justice on her original betrayer Xaro by locking him in his vault with all of his treasures, which turns out to be empty. Daenerys sacks the city of Qarth for all of its gold and jewels then departs in search of a ship. This is the first city Daenerys has managed to conquer with her dragons and they are still tiny. I can only imagine what destruction she will inflict once the dragons are full grown.

Lord Tywin returns to King’s Landing and is named Hand of the King by Joffrey. Joffrey also decides to take Margaery Tyrell as his queen forsaking Sansa. I will say this is not a smart choice for Margaery and I expect that Natalie Dormer, Margaery’s portrayer, will once again find her head on a chopping block before this show is over. Now that Lord Tywin has returned, Tyrion is stripped of his power and quickly all that he worked to achieve is dismantled. Bronn is no longer the head of the King’s Guard and Tyrion’s accommodations have been significantly downgraded. I understand that Cersei would be quick to jump on Tyrion and destroy him; however, it seems like Tywin is helping with his demise. Tywin asked Tyrion to serve in his place and Tyrion did a good job protecting the city from harm. It makes no sense why Tywin would jump so quickly at hurting his son. There is a sweet moment between Tyrion and Shae. Tyrion actually enjoys King’s Landing and has found his place playing the political game. Tyrion wonders if Shae will flee the city and go someplace safer but she vows to stay and be with him.

The men Robb Stark sent to reclaim Winterfell finally arrive and Theon is forced to finally face the huge mistake he made. Deciding it is too late to turn back, he musters up all of his courage and rally’s his men with a compelling speech. His men, however, already decided to trade Theon for their freedom. It seems like Theon’s life is at an end but it will be interesting to see if he can grovel his way out of this mess. Before surrendering, Theon’s men do manage to burn Winterfell and kill Maester Luwin. Osha then takes Bran and Rickon away from Winterfell to The Wall where they will hopefully be safe.

Those were the big storylines but other things characters also make an appearance. Robb marries Talisa Maegyr so he will now have to face Lord Frey’s wrath once he finds out. Arya decides not to go with Jaqen but he leaves her his calling card in case she ever needs him. Jon Snow finally makes it to The Widlings’ lair and is about to meet their king. Brienne and the Kingslayer continue their journey to King’s Landing. The show ends with Samwell Tarly seeing an army of White Walkers moving as a hoard behind The Wall. I am not quite sure what this means. There are so many other battles going on in this series that the White Walkers seem very periphery and not of importance. They make brief appearances and leave. Perhaps next season since now it is shown that there are thousands of them they will play a bigger part, or maybe once the winter descends upon the land they will begin to wreak havoc.

Season 2 was a good season even though it contained more background and buildup instead of actual action. Season 3 is the season that the creators of the show looked forward to the most when they decided to undertake this project so it should be an intriguing and eventful season.