‘Game of Thrones’ Season 2 Review: Thrones, Fangs, and Claws

Welcome to Game of Thrones season 2! If you didn’t think season one could be beat, then this is the season that proves you wrong. This series only gets better as time goes on. Season 2 was full of war, backstabbing, alliances, marriages, revelations, discoveries, small minded men, and strong women.  I especially want to focus on that last phrase, strong women, because it’s not just important, it’s rarer than it shouold be.

The women in this series are all strong in their own ways. They continuously prove to the men, who are often in leadership positions, that they are to be taken seriously, and that they command respect. They are all bad-ass, in their own way.

Catelyn, for example, joins her son Robb while he is at war.  She follows him and advises him along the way, not afraid of getting her hands dirty, so to speak, to help her son. She helps broker a marriage alliance with Walder Frey, so their army can cross his bridge over the Trident.

Catelyn Stark GIF

We also meet Talisa, who was born as a highborn lady in Volantis.  She left her home and has become a healer, following the war and helping those injured. Meanwhile, Lady Brienne of Tarth, another one of the new characters we meet this season, is just bad-ass in the ways women aren’t usually allowed to be in shows like this one.  We first see her sparing with Loras Tyrell and she kicks his ass. Literally, physically, kicks his ass.  She then joins King Renly’s Kingsguard.

Sansa is the only Stark that the Lannisters have captive in King’s Landing. She is often ridiculed, humiliated, beaten, and tortured. Usually Joffrey is the one doing the torturing, thinking she is just one of his little toys that he can do with as he pleases. Sansa bears it all. She takes every hit, threat, and cruel demeaning thing thrown her way, and allows it to make her stronger. She is a survivor and she knows what part she has to play to make it. But don’t count Sansa out.

Her time will come.

Arya finally gets to know what it’s like to be known as a boy while traveling with a group of Night’s Watch recruits. She is treated like one of them, and I can tell she enjoys it. She outsmarts Tywin Lannister when she is captured and taken to Harrnehall, by playing not a boy, but a mason’s daughter from the North. He doesn’t ever come to suspect that she is the Arya Stark.  Arya, our she-wolf. Be careful, she bites.

We also have Margery, ever the lady, ever the queen. She knows how to play the game and use her position to her advantage to gain power.  She is able to play the game in her favor to end the betrothal between Joffrey and Sansa and slide into that place instead.  She gets her wish.  She is extremely cunning, and she isn’t just the golden rose of High Garden, she has thorns.

kiss GIF

We were also introduced to Ygritte this season. Have you ever just not liked a character straight off the bat? There isn’t necessarily anything about them that you dislike, you just dislike them for some reason? For me that character is Ygritte. What I do appreciate about her, despite that, is that she is tough, and she fights. She takes no crap from anyone. She is feisty. The Wildlings/Free Folk see all women and men are equal, which is something that the rest of the realm needs to get behind.

Then there’s Cersei. Cersei, Cersei, Cersei. There are never enough words for her. While I find her a despicable person who is certainly capable of anything, even I can admit she is strong.  Everything she does is for herself and her family, and she will truly do anything to protect them. She is ruthless and conniving.

We end with Daenerys. I just feel so proud every time I see her on my screen.  She  proved to the Thirteen of Qarth that she isn’t just a “little girl.” No. This little girl is a QUEEN. She is bad-ass, unapologetic, passionate, and does what she thinks is right. When she is wronged she isn’t afraid to meet her enemies with fire and blood.

The women are all portrayed as strong, not weak.  The men often overlook them, and treat them as if they aren’t equal in any way. As if women are somehow beneath them. Luckily we have a few good men in this series that know otherwise.  I can’t wait to see what this group of women grace us with next season.

Now,  I want to focus on one scene from this season:  when Joffrey drags Sansa before court to punish her for Robb winning a battle, a scene where he beats and has Ser Meryn tear her clothes.  Tyrion shuffles into the room with Bronn to put a stop to it.

Source: Youtube Invisible Lead Soup

This scene holds so much context for me.  It shows off that those in court will stand by and do nothing as an innocent girl is beaten and disgraced before them. They won’t stand up for what is right. They follow only power. We also get to see Tyrion’s character in this scene.  Even though Joffrey is King, Tyrion really is the one holding the power, and he teaches Joffrey a lesson in front of court. I will admit, that was my favorite part of this scene for obvious reasons. I love any time Tyrion taunts or makes Joffrey angry.  It just brings me such joy, I admit it. It allows us a glimpse of what a survivor Sansa has become. She takes it all and keeps on living. It was my one of my top moments from this season.

This season is just as good as season 1, in my opinion. I love re-watching the series that I originally fell in love with and seeing things that I have long forgotten about. Re-read my review of season 1, here.

Here are some thoughts that I had during my re-watch of season 2:

  1. Pycelle creeps me out.
  2. How does Tyrion walk with how much he drinks all day?
  3. People constantly underestimate Dany, when will they learn?
  4. WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?
  5. I always knew Joffrey was sadistic.
  6. Joffrey is a spineless coward.
  7. One simply does not call Dany a little girl.
  8. Robb, I’m glad you followed your heart. Soak up this small piece of happiness.
  9. We have started early with the Mad King parallels between Cersei and Joffrey.

Game of Thrones season 8 premieres April 14th on HBO.