Game of Thrones: 2.09 Review
“Blackwater” (Season 2 | Episode 9)
…I can’t find the words. That was truly one of the best episodes of anything that I’ve ever seen.
Given that this season of GoT is promoted with the strap line “5 Kings, 1 Throne” you’d have thought we’d have seen an array of battles and bloodshed by now. It could have been a tournament of battles with each victor progressing to the next round to eventually get a shot at Joffrey and his illegitimate seat on the iron throne. Although, this would have been fun to watch it wouldn’t have captured the essence of these incredible characters. That’s why it’s such a relief after watching ‘Blackwater’, knowing that the show made the right choice and stuck with its format.
We’ve had eight episodes of quality drama and interactions with enough sparks of violence to keep even the most action-demanding fans entertained. Now, in the penultimate episode we get what we’ve been waiting for…and then some.
Blackwater was a triumph from start to finish. In most reviews I try to pick out good and bad points to talk about, but in this piece all I can do is sing the episode’s praises. I was so engaged with this edition of the fantasy drama that I left my critical brain to one side and just watched dumbstruck at the awesomeness that was unfolding.
Everything was fantastic. The action sequences were directed with pace, precision and from enough perspectives to give you a real sense of the battle from every angle. From Cersei and Sansa discussing a Queen’s role in hiding to Tyrion’s deadly use of wildfire, every moment just fell into the next one with perfection. But it wasn’t just a huge, gore-filled battle that made this episode shine, it was the same use of expertly written dialogue between characters that kept us engaged with the episode on multiple levels.
Cersei was such a ruthless enigma throughout, educating Sansa about what may happen if the city walls are breached was twisted and menacing. She showed absolutely no restraint, pushing aside any acts of compassion or understanding, even at the very end when she was ready to end both her and her son’s life. And as for Tyrion, well, if they aren’t already carving the name Peter Dinklage into next year’s Golden Globe for leading actor then they need to be set alight with wildfire.
The Hound’s desertion was a real turn up for the books and quite the twist to take Sansa away from the city. If the two were to bump into Brienne and Jaime on the way out, then that would be quite a situation to witness. Thinking about it Brienne and the Hound would make quite the couple, not exactly Jack and Vera Duckworth but by god you would want to make sure you got them an expensive wedding gift.
Scene of the Episode | Wildfire – Let’s face it, this episode was a complete blood-fest and the use of Wildfire ripping through Stannis’ fleet was truly breathtaking. The fact that it was coloured green was quite fitting because this was definitely the Incredible Hulk of pyromania.
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.