Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Game of Thrones - "The Kingsroad"

Beware of smiling Lannisters (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), young Jon Snow (Kit Harington).
Photo Credit: HBO
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'Game of Thrones'
Season 1 - Episode 2
"The Kingsroad"

The premiere had to do the heavy lifting of introducing the viewers to this fantastic world as well as the many faces that populate and shape it. This week, "The Kingsroad" gets to stretch its legs a bit and start the work of pushing the story. As a result, a few characters began to show some interesting growth and potential. However, others need to be deepened.

One aspect of 'Game of Thrones' that I hope is changed soon is the how unforgivably unsympathetic the villains are portrayed. The Lannisters, outside of Tyrion, are complete bastards. Jaime can't help but rub Jon Snow's face into the fact that he's a bastard and that the young man's relocation to The Wall is practically and exile. Prince Joffery is a little twit and a bully, who must rely on his title to gain any sense of worth or respect. Queen Cersei is vindictive and decides to punish her future daughter-in-law when she can't take it out on the younger Arya, mostly as a signal to Ned Stark that she has power.

Let's not forget that Jaime pushed young Bran Stark from a tower when the boy found him and his sister Cersei shagging. Oh, and who do you think sent the assassin? I'll give you one guess. Luckily, Catelyn is a badass woman of the woods and that dire wolves are apparently insanely loyal to their masters.

We don't get as much of the other blond jerk, Viserys Targaryen, but his sister Daenerys made some moves this week that indicate that she may quickly grow beyond quivering, naked trophy wife. Hey, if she can make a man mountain like Khal Drogo change things up in the bedroom, who knows what she may be capable of.

So far Peter Dinklage remains the standout of the cast*. The combination of his stature coupled with Tyrion's bravado his really great to behold. I'm really looking forward to his adventure to the northl. Tyrion is apparently very smart and he has decided to visit The Wall and befriend Jon Snow for a reason. So far, this is the most interesting part of the series.

*Don't get me wrong; Sean Bean is really great, but he's playing a role that isn't very far removed from Boromir in 'Lord of the Rings'.

I said last week that I thought the map-based intro was a great idea that gave the viewer a concrete depiction of the world that these characters inhabit. They took it a step further this week and altered it to highlight that we would be spending time more inland across the Narrow Sea. That's going above and beyond.

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