Season Two Episode 1: “The North Remembers” Review

Posted: April 17, 2012 by cwk5143 in Game of Thrones Season 2

Never have I eagerly anticipated the return of a television series as much the critically acclaimed “Game of Thrones.” I had prepared for the premiere starting weeks beforehand, constantly looking at message boards and forums both for new trailers and speculation from fellow enthusiasts. Although it has been about a year since I have read the second book in George RR Martin’s epic series, “A Clash of Kings,” to which the second season of “Game of Thrones” is based off of, as soon as the melodic intro (which I think is the best opening sequence of any television show ever) finished and the first scene began, I immediately felt immersed in this fantasy world that I had tried so hard to envision in my readings.
With that, I believe HBO does an absolutely stellar job in transcribing this series into television. With only 10 hours of airtime and over 1000 pages to cover from Martin’s book, it is clearly impossible to include every detail in the television series, and HBO cuts enough from the book but still leaves viewers with everything they need to follow the storyline closely and feel the emotion from Martin’s famously insane plot twists.
The first episode of the new season, titled, “The North Remembers,” brings a new challenging task to the table; the introduction of even more characters. If you had trouble keeping up with all of the first season’s characters names, than sadly this will be even harder. This is also a reason why “Game of Thrones” is not a ‘one-time’ only show. Personally, I have watched every episode multiple times and there are still times where I notice something or connect something I had never caught the first few times. Also challenging is the amount of sets that are needed this season. With all of the characters splitting up and almost every climate covered, filming needs to be completed in both cold northern forests (Jon Snow), hot deserts (Daenerys Targaryen), and everything in between.

SPOILER ALERT: WHAT FOLLOWS IS A SNYNOPSIS OF THE EPISODE

Summer is over, and so much is happening in Westeros. Tyrion is returning from the field as Hand of the King, and boy is he fun to watch. By now, everyone pretty much despises the Queen Regent Cersei, so having Tyrion shake things up a bit in King’s Landing is quite a relief as well as offers some comedic relief. Without going too much into detail, this episode presents the fact that even though Joffrey is King, Tyrion has all the power.
In the North, Jon Snow is venturing beyond the wall with a group of Nights Watch rangers as well as Lord Commander Mormont in search of wildling encampments. They eventually make their way to Craster, a wildling who is fairly neutral to the Nights Watch. He agrees to house them, but not before we find out that that all of the women milling about his home are his daughters, as well as his wives. Not too much plot development other than this occurs, however, the scary question arises about what he does with his sons.
Daenerys Targaryen is lost in the desert, after being abandoned by most of her khalasaar. However, she does have something that nobody else has: dragons, three of them. Her remaining followers are starting to succumb to the elements, so Dany must find somewhere to go soon, although we do not find out where in this episode.
The remaining Starks are scattered. Bran is the acting Lord of Winterfell, and it seems he does not care much for his duty. After having a particularly frightening dream, Bran straps onto Hodor, and sets out for a walk. Here we receive the omen that the red comet in the sky means one thing: dragons. Robb is still of with his host preparing for war. We receive a glimpse of his captive Jaime as well as his now HUGE direwolf Grey Wind (amazing job again, HBO). It will be interesting to see how their roles develop later in the season.
Stannis and his crew (Davos Seaworth and Melisandre) are also preparing for war against the Lannisters, for Stannis feels he is the rightful heir to the throne. We do not learn much except for the fact that Melisandre is definitely not normal when she sips a poisoned glass of wine and lives as if nothing happened. She worships a strange god, called the Lord of Light, and judging by her actions, she means business.
The show ends with us getting a glimpse of Arya Stark and Gendry, King Robert’s trueborn son, departing for the wall with the nights watch. And then that’s it, a full hour gone in what feels like fifteen minutes. Overall, not much action happened in this episode, however HBO needed an episode where they can shelve the blood and gore and produce a more diplomatic episode, which still did not fail to keep me thoroughly entertained. It is going to be a great ten weeks.

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Comments
  1. pecollins says:

    Yeah, that opening sequence is basically brilliant.

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