Game of Thrones season 2 episode 8 Review

Game of Thrones continues to grow into my favourite show…

This review contains spoilers.

2.8 The Prince of Winterfell

Game of Thrones is sometimes at its best in the quiet interactions against these established characters. It can’t spend every week throwing blood guts and boobs, sometimes to give the most satisfying of conclusions you need to do a bit of set up. The pieces are in place for a fantastic final two episodes and if the budget stretches we may even see a full scale battle.

In order to have a feast, you must first set the table.

Arya’s scenes with Tywin throughout this season have been a highlight and it’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Charles Dance’s character. The admiration from Tywin has really humanised that character for me, I sometimes forget he is meant to be one of the ‘bad guys’.  He is off to fight the young wolf who is knocking on the door of Casterly Rock, but not before Arya fails to get him killed by Jaquen. Unfortunately she misses the opportunity so devises a clever way to use Jaquen to escape. Arya is clever, sometimes too clever for her own good. She devises a brilliant way to get Jaquen to risk his neck by busting her, Gendry, and Hot Pie out of Harrenhal. It’s about time too without Tywin her stay at Harrenhal would have become boring, her arc is amongst the best in the story so I’m glad they are pushing her along.

Tyrion continues to scene steal in every episode he is featured and tonight’s was no different. I find Peter Dinklage spellbinding in the role and hope that he again retains the Best supporting Actor nod at this year’s Emmys. The range of acting on display firstly when he thought his beloved Shae had been taken prisoner, and then how he was able to conceal the emotions when he released that Cersei had got it wrong was another tour de force. The scene with Tyrion, Bronn and Varys had me in stiches several times with all the actors’ subtle takes on how to defend kings landing. I love watching these characters together no matter what they are discussing.

Theon continues to screw up everything he touches. He ‘killed’ the only leverage he had and the cavalry he was expecting is never going to arrive. There was an obvious inevitability with how this is going to play out for Theon. He is a prince without a kingdom, he betrayed his only friend, unloved and untrusted by his family, and lives in a castle full of enemies with only a handful of men to garrison it. There was another touching moment this week, this time from an unexpected source. Yara and Theon Greyjoy’s reunion scene at the opening of the episode was fascinating. . It’s nice to see that she doesn’t hate her brother; she seems to pity him and knows that he’s a fool destined to suffer as a result of his many misfortunes, and urges him to have an Islander’s death near the sea since there’s no way he’ll be able to hold Winterfell with a boatload of pirates.

Cate Stark continues to infuriate and is probably the most irritating character in the series. Maybe because I don’t have children but she continues to make the rashest and stupidest decision of anyone. The only good thing that comes out of this is we get more of the kingslayer which can’t be a bad thing.

With Stannis inbound with his legion of ships and the decks loaded across Westeros we should be in for a fantastic final two episodes. Next week we get an episode penned by George R.R. Martin himself so fingers crossed we get the ending this series deserves


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