Game of Thrones: The Night Lands

“Cold winds are rising, and the dead rise with them.”

Game of Thrones

It’s rather nice to be back in Westeros. Just in time for Christmas, too.

Well, perhaps “nice” isn’t the right word. There’s very little, in fact, about Game of Thrones that might be considered “nice”. And, for some reason, this episode seemed particularly violent. Possibly I’ve just forgotten how horrid the show can be.

The Night Lands (lovely title) is the second episode of the second series of Game of Thrones, and it’s a little…bitty, as the main plotlines of the first series fragment and multiply. Tyrion establishes himself as Hand of the King in King’s Landing; Danaerys and her gang seek a way through the desert to the sea; Arya travels north with the men bound for the Night’s Watch; Jon Snow et al journey into the lands north of the Wall; Stannis Baratheon plots his attack on King’s Landing; Littlefinger is nasty to a prostitute. I’ve probably forgotten something, because there was a lot going on there, and frankly I’m not terribly interested in all of it. I could do without the Stannis plotline – mainly, it has to be admitted, because it’s a new one and I’m not invested in it yet – and though the castle of Pyke looks very cool I’m really not sure what’s going on there

The real problem with all this is that getting all the stuff into the episode makes it all feel a little rushed. So there was plenty of awesomeness, but not particularly focused awesomeness; there was nothing, really, linking up the episode segments, and thus no sense of continuity. The Night Lands isn’t so much a story as a series of vignettes, which I guess is fine for an early episode (after all, the political situation for the second series is still being set up), but it’s just a bit unsatisfying.

It was, however, good to see all my favourite characters again. Tyrion is going to be brilliant, I can tell.

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