This post is Part 4 of 6. Too see Part 5 click here.
The re-watch continues with the second half of Season 2, which cover roughly the second half of A Clash of Kings. Garrison is back to bring us up to speed.
This season is really Tyrion’s. I don’t think he’s the most important character (my money is still on Jon Snow and/or Daenerys) but his story arc is as compelling as anyone’s. Peter Dinklage gives amazing performances throughout and hits all his dramatic notes with the same perfection that he does his comic relief. Lena Headey also gives great performances as she struggles dealing with the monster that Joffrey is becoming.
1. Anything between Tywin and Arya. I chose this one, because of Arya’s answer to Tywin asking what killed her father: “Loyalty.”
2. Jaime “bonds” with his cousin. There’s a couple great moments here, where Jaime is really humanized- and then he undoes it all.
3. Catelyn impugns Jaime’s honor. This scene fleshes Jaime out a little more and is a precursor to a lot we find out about him in Season 3. This was one of my favorite scenes on the rewatch, given what we now know about Jaime.
4. Much like Tywin and Arya, there are a lot of great Cersei/Sansa interactions in this season. You get the sense that she almost feels pity on Sansa. This scene is where Cersei first really acknowledges just how badly her progeny has turned out.
5. Tyrion/Cersei: More admitting Joffrey is awful… for good measure. There’s another scene with these two in episode 8 that is absolutely stellar, but unfortunately I couldn’t find the full scene on youtube.
6. The whole Wildfire sequence is just terrifically done. The best part about it (aside from the stunning visuals) is probably how clearly you can see the horror on Tyrion’s face as he hears the screams from the Bay.
7. Tyrion owns Joffrey. Any scene that puts Joffrey in his place is a victory for us all.
Tyrion Lannister: We’ve had vicious kings and we’ve had idiot kings, but I don’t know if we’ve ever been cursed with a vicious idiot boy-king!
Tyrion to Joffrey during the Fleabottom riots. This whole exchange is great, really.
Robb Stark: And Theon… I want him brought to me alive. I want to look him in the eye and ask him ‘Why?’… and then I will take his head myself!
Tywin Lannister: This’ll be my last war… win or lose.
Arya Stark: Have you ever lost before?
Tywin Lannister: You think I’d be in my position if I’d lost a war?
Tywin Lannister: Hm. She’s a heroine of yours, I take it. Aren’t most girls more interested in the pretty maidens from the songs? Jonquil, with flowers in her hair?
Arya Stark: Most girls are idiots.
Again, just about any exchange between Arya and Tywin is delightful, your choice.
Theon Greyjoy: It’s better to be cruel than weak.
Well, debatable, but at least Theon is trying to be his own person?
Sansa Stark: Does it give you joy to scare people?
Sandor Clegane: No, it gives me joy to kill people.
And this is the softer, kinder version of The Hound!
Jaime Lannister: I’m not well suited for imprisonment. Shocking, I know. Some men are. Ned Stark; I imagine he made an excellent prisoner right up until the end. But me, though – my life has left me uniquely unfit for constraint.
At least he’s self aware.
Tyrion Lannister: [to Cersei] I will hurt you for this. A day will come when you think you’re safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth.
Tyrion vows vengeance after Cersei takes Ros prisoner… which was vengeance for Tyrion sending Myrcella to Dorne, which was vengeance for…
Eddison Tollett: Great rangers never get old is the problem. [Bad] ones neither. It’s them in the middle that last a long time.
Not an impactful quote by a major character, but still noteworthy.
Joffrey Baratheon: If I tell the Hound to cut you in half, he’ll do it without a second thought.
Tyrion Lannister: That would make me the quarter-man. Just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Basically what I’m saying is, any time Tyrion slams Joffrey, it’s going to make this list…
Bronn: I saw you kill a man with a shield, you’ll be unstoppable with an axe.
Referencing Tyrion staving off attackers back in Season 1
Tyrion Lannister: There are brave men knocking at our door. Let’s go kill them!
Believe it or not, there were *some* lines from Tyrion in Season 2 that weren’t completely awesome.
Lord Varys: [to Tyrion] There are many who know that without you this city faced certain defeat. The king won’t give you any honors, the histories won’t mention you, but we will not forget.
Despite his demotion, Varys offers Tyrion the small consolation that at least some will remember his part in the Battle of Blackwater
Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish: [to Sansa Stark] Look around you, we’re all liars here, and every one of use is better than you.
Sansa is very much part of the “Game of Thrones,” but she’s still getting her feet under her.
– Theon’s turn in the TV series was totally unbelievable the first time I watched it, but only mildly unbelievable the second time. This is one area that the books do a much better job.
– Seriously, those Tywin/Arya scenes are so great. They have such great rapport with one another.
– The entirety of episode 9 is contained in King’s Landing. It’s a nice change of pace from lots of jumping around.
– When Balon Greyjoy declares himself King in the Iron Islands that gives us our fifth king in the “War of the Five Kings.” Of note, there were never actually five at the same time, as Renly had already been murdered at that point. Fun fact!
– The Hound is awesome. I’ll accept no other arguments.
– Cersei has a great arc in these episodes. She really starts to wonder how Joffrey came to be so awful. She still likes torturing Sansa, but at the same time she pities her. Cersei is the one who starts Sansa’s education in how to deal with her awful life to come.
– Varys said in season 1 that he serves only “the realm.” He backs that up in his helping Tyrion plan for the defense of King’s Landing. He does this out of no great love for the dwarf, but because he believes Stannis would make an awful king and is uncomfortable with his association with Melisandre.
Full recap after the jump:
In the North, Theon has taken Winterfell. Bran yields the title “Lord of Winterfell” to Theon after Theon promises to not harm the castle’s occupants, but reneges when Ser Rodrick is captured and Theon executes him. Osha, the wildling, seduces Theon that night in order to allow Hodor, Bran, and Rickon to sneak out of the castle.
The next morning Theon sets out on a hunt for the boys in order to avoid embarrassment of letting small children outsmart him. Theon, in an effort to show the citizens of Winterfell not to challenge him, brings back the charred bodies of a farmer’s children and presents them as Bran and Rickon.
Theon’s sister arrives at Winterfell with the intention of bringing him back to Pyke in the Iron Islands, but he refuses to go. Maester Luwin discovers Osha, Bran, Rickon, and Hodor hiding in the crypts beneath Winterfell.
Winterfell becomes under siege and Theon rejects the offer of Maester Luwin to help him escape the castle. During a speech to his troops Theon is knocked unconscious, betrayed by his own men. In the commotion, one of Theon’s captains slays Maester Luwin. Bran and company emerge from the crypts to find Winterfell sacked, they take off for the Wall to reunite with Jon.
In the Westerlands, Robb Stark becomes enamored with a highborn lady acting as a nurse in the battlefield, Talisa. Catelyn reminds her son that he is promised to Walder Frey’s daughter and that Frey is not a man you’d want to cross.
Word of Theon taking Winterfell reaches the Stark army. One of Robb’s bannermen, Roose Bolton, convinces Robb that he cannot go to Winterfell himself because they will lose what progress they have made against the Lannisters. Bolton sends his son Ramsay to recapture Winterfell so Theon may be held accountable. Robb and Talisa consummate their relationship.
Brienne continues her journey, taking Jaime Lannister back to King’s Landing to exchange him for Sansa and Arya. Meanwhile, Robb confides to Catelyn that he loves Talisa and they are wed.
Beyond the Wall, Jon’s expedition led by Qhorin Halfhand captures a wildling camp. Only the female wildling Ygritte survives. Jon is supposed to execute Ygritte but he cannot bring himself to do it. In Jon’s hesitation, Ygritte escapes and by the time she is recaptured Jon has lost the rest of the main party. Ygritte escapes yet again and by the time Jon is able to corral her, she has led him into a wildling trap and Jon is taken prisoner.
Jon finds Qhorin has also been captured by the same wildlings after they began searching for Jon. Ygritte convinces Jon’s captors to keep him alive. Qhorin tells Jon that in order to ensure the sacrifice of the others is not in vain he must defect and infiltrate Mance Rayder’s army.
Sam discovers an ancient Night’s Watch cloak which contains a cache of Chekov’s dragonglass as he awaits Jon’s return on the Fist of the First Men.
Qhorin remains committed to Jon infiltrating the Wildlings, even if it means his own life. He provokes a fight with Jon in an effort to convince the Wildlings that Jon will defect. Qhorin goads Jon into killing him, which wins him the momentary trust of his captors.
At Kings Landing, Myrcella is shipped off to Dorne as part of her betrothal to the Martell family. During the royal entourage’s journey back to the Red Keep, Joffrey is struck in the face by a cow pie (a victory for us all), and his reaction, naturally, is to kill everyone present. This incites a riot and the royal family is forced to flee to safety. Tyrion tries to take control of the situation but the Kingsguard will not obey him. Sansa, separated from the others, is about to be raped before being rescued by The Hound.
Tyrion informs Cersei that Stannis’ fleet will be arriving in days and the city is not prepared. He and Bronn start taking other measures to prepare the city. Cersei believes Tyrion organized the attack on Joffrey during the riot and as punishment for Tyrion takes who she believes is Tyrion’s partner Shae, when it is actually Ros.
Cersei has the highborn ladies in the Keep to be kept “safe” during the siege. During this time she has several pointed conversations with Sansa, almost trying to “help” her.
Stannis’ fleet arrives and the Battle of Blackwater ensues. Tyrion’s plan for the defense against Stannis’ fleet is to spring a trap involving wildfire that eliminated much of the fleet. Stannis comes ashore and begins an assault on the city gates.
Joffrey abandons the battlements and morale plummets as the Baratheon army gains the upper hand. Tyrion takes charge and inspires the soldiers, leading them outside the gates via a secret passageway to turn the tide of the battle. Tyrion is gravely injured in an attack by one of the members of Joffrey’s Kingsguard, but Podrick saves his life.
Shae convinces Sansa to leave the Keep and lock herself in her chambers. When she returns the Hound is already there and asks her if he would like to take her home. She declines(?!) his offer.
Cersei, thinking the battle is lost, is ready to commit suicide with her young son Tommen when at the last moment the doors to the Iron Throne room burst open and her father appears telling her the battle is won
Joffrey thanks Tywin for saving the city by formally naming him Hand. The King also decides to abandon his betrothal to Sansa and agrees to marry Margaery Tyrell instead.
When Tyrion awakes he has a large scar on his face and has been moved from the tower of the Hand to much smaller quarters. Varys acknowledges that Tyrion was the hero of the battle, though he’ll receive no real credit.
At Harrenhall, Tywin Lannister grows increasingly dissatisfied with the performance of his knights who are losing the war to Robb Stark. Tywin and Arya bond (well, Tywin bonds with Arya; probably not the other way around) because Arya doesn’t actively make Tywin angry. Arya uses the second of the three lives Jaqen H’ghar owes her on Amory Lorch.
With Robb’s attention on the Greyjoys, Tywin decides to press forward on the attack and leaves Harrenhall. Jaqen helps Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie escape at night.
Jaqen suddenly appears during Arya’s escape and offers to take her with him to Braavos to learn the ways of the “Faceless Men,” but Arya decides to stay and find her family. Jaqen gives Arya a coin with which she can reach Jaqen if she needs to.
Across the Narrow Sea the spice king rebuffs Daenerys’ pleads for ships to get her back to Westeros. As Dany returns with her host, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, she discovers the members of her guard has been slaughtered and her dragons taken.
Dany meets with the Thirteen of Qarth where Pyat Pree (bald, skinny sorcerer guy) admits that he has her dragons in the House of the Undying. Shortly after, Xaro Xhoan Daxos proclaims himself King of the city and together with Pree assassinates the other members of the Thirteen.
Daenerys goes into the House of the Undying to retrieve her dragons and experiences several visions due to the power of the warlocks of Qarth. Through these illusions she is captured and put in chains next to her dragons. To escape she has the dragons burn the warlock and the chains disintegrate. When Dany returns to Xaro’s estate she locks him in his vault as repayment for his betrayal. Dany has her Dothraki loot as much as they can so they might buy a ship.
Back at the Wall, Sam, Grenn, and Edd are on duty when they hear three blasts from the horn which means White Walkers have been spotted. Sam is quickly surrounded by wights (the undead, reanimated corpses) and one of the White Walkers on a horse. Sam watches in horror as the host of wights advances on the Night’s Watch.