Game of Thrones: 2.08 Review
“The Prince of Winterfell” (Season 2 | Episode 8)
With only two episodes left to go Game of Thrones took what I can only consider a last breath before next week when the show takes a swan dive into the deep end. Things went on in their usual way, half a dozen stories taking place across the map, some with some great developments and some with not so much but still decently entertaining.
First for the interesting stuff, Peter Dinklage re-asserted his dominance as the show’s leading actor in a great performance as Tyrion. The scenes he shared with both Cersei and Shae were fantastic, full of tension and grit. The way he handled the situation with Cersei was flawless, keeping the heat off Shae and threatening Cersei with an amazing piece of dialogue was a sublime one-two. Looking forward, the battle for King’s Landing is approaching and Tyrion’s influence on it’s defence could be it’s saviour – but who really wants that, especially not with Joffrey “terrorising” the oncoming hoards with his starving army and needle of a sword. Uh-oh Tyrion.
Cat letting Brienne take Jaime back to his family was a pretty outrageous turn of events, it’s a pity we didn’t see more of their journey in the boat. The two make a fantastic duo, Jaime commands every scene he’s in and Brienne gives as good as she gets, much more could have been done watching the two banter their way down the river. Robb rightly put his buffoon of a mother in captivity, giving away their only bargaining chip in Jaime was a ridiculous strategy, what does she expect Joffrey to do – just say thanks here’s Sansa back? Somehow I doubt it.
Arya and Tywin had been the show’s best duo in recent weeks so it was surprising to see how this dynamic suddenly split with Tywin racing off to face Robb Stark. Arya left to serve The Mountain? Bad news for the young stark, let’s hope she can utilize the help of her new best friend to get out of dodge.
As predicted Theon hadn’t actually kill off the only remaining Starks in Winterfell, even though this was predictable, seeing them in hiding within the city walls was not. Theon is due a serious slap in the future; hopefully Lord Bolton’s bastard can deliver it when he and his troops arrive in Winterfell next week. Even Theon’s sister tried to talk some sense into him, heading back to the sea is where they belong, that’s where their strength lies – a concept lost on ‘Thick-on’.
Dany and Jorah shared a touching scene when they discussed the pros and cons of raising a trio of dragons. Dany’s frustration is just; she has three dragons that have the ability to rein fire upon her enemies. If she has to burn the House of the Undying to the ground she should do it.
Jon Snow’s in the thick of it now but at least he’s managed to introduce us to the king of the Flintstones – the lord of bones…and he wears a skull. Brilliant.
All in all, this may not have been the most dramatic of episodes but it has set up a dramatic two-part finale. This certainly was the calm before the storm, at times it felt like this episode covered a little two much ground as it checked in with each sub narrative, laying the framework for the climax in each story to be laid out ahead.
Scene of the Episode | Tyrion V Cersei – After recent strong performances from Arya/Tywin, Tyrion took back the limelight in this superb scene, facing off against his sister. One of the best quotes of the season was delivered too – “A day will come when you think you’re safe and happy and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth” – truly amazing stuff.
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.