Game of Thrones Season 2
The shooting for the second season took place between July 25 and December 12, 2011. On 1 April 2012, the series premiered on the American HBO went. The second season is (just like the first season) of 10 episodes and is based on the second book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Clash of Kings.
The majority of the filming took place in Northern Ireland, Croatia and Iceland. The Paint Hall studio in Belfast again acted as home base. Season 2 had a budget that was 15% higher than that of the first season (+ / – $ 69 million).
Game of Thrones Season 2 my review
Game of Thrones is a HBO series, which debuted in the spring of 2011, immediately gaining crowds of faithful fans. The seven lands of Westeros and the regions beyond the Narrow Sea are an arena of political intrigue and a constant struggle for the greatest influence. It is no wonder that many people have become permanently immersed in these fantastic realities. George R.R. Martin’s books, based on which the series is set, also gained popularity. After a huge success in 2011, Game of Thrones earned the second season, and next year HBO will broadcast its third season.
The series tells the story of a political struggle for power over Westeros, which may remind viewers and readers of medieval England. The state is divided into seven provinces, each with its own ruler. All of them were subjected to a single monarch sitting on the Iron Throne in the capital – Westeros. George R.R. Martin also admits that he drew inspiration from the history of the War of Two Roses. The second season of the series shows the situation after the death of King Robert Baratheon. Unfortunately, there are several pretenders to the throne – some claim to be rightful rulers, while others seek revenge. All this leads to the outbreak of civil war. There are also other dangers hanging over the land. In the north, behind a huge ice wall, the wild boars gather their strength. In addition, White Walkers are a serious threat – deadly, icy creatures that, thousands of years after their disappearance, began to be considered nothing more than a fairy tale for children. Meanwhile, in warmer countries beyond the Narrow Sea, the descendant of King Westeros, Daenerys Targaryen, who was overthrown several years ago, is looking for allies capable of helping her regain the lost kingdom of her ancestors.
The second season of Game of Thrones again impresses with its variety of landscapes and characters. You might think that in the first season we met the most important characters, and the creators will be able to focus on complex intrigues. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the second season we meet new “players” who want to gain as much as possible from the war. The most important of them are Stannis Baratheon (Robert’s older brother), Davos, his servant, and Melisandre. We must admit that these characters bring a lot to the series, and they are also quite well played. The best impression is made by Davos, former smuggler, solidly experienced by life, faithful servant and advisor to Stannis’ advisor. This character should appeal to book fans. Readers may have mixed feelings towards Melisandre and Stannis, as the red priestess sometimes lacks predatory qualities and Stannis lacks his famous harshness.
The new characters are also the savages behind the Wall, whom we have met in the last few episodes of the series. Each of the free people (as they call themselves the inhabitants of ice lands) looks simply great. On the one hand they provide an interesting action, on the other hand they entertain with their sarcastic comments. Ygritte’s redhead does not allow us to be bored even for a moment. The rest predict a good show in the third season. Lord Bone looks particularly good – his characterization is a truly masterpiece.
We will also meet other characters in the Iron Islands. The actor playing Balloon Greyjoy was perfectly matched. Theon’s father is harsh, cold and demanding. Unfortunately, Martin’s saga fans may feel disappointed with the character of Yara (in the book called Asha – the name has been changed for the purposes of the series). This character is only saved by a good script. Yara is an insipid woman, without much complexity and self-confidence.
One of the most interesting figures of this season is Jaqen H’ghara, who appears in the life of Arya Stark. The girl saved his life, and in return, she was given the possibility of ending the lives of any three people. The relationship between these characters is very dynamic and full of black humor. Scenes in which little Arya Stark screams at such a deadly man and rushes to commit further murders are simply unforgettable.
The figure of Brienne also looks great. Unattractive female knight, better at wielding a sword than many men, and certainly more honorable. Both the audience and the readers of the Song of Ice and Fire should like it, because she is, literally, a very distinctive character. Brienne has the potential to become one of the most expressive characters of the next season.
The characters and actors we know from the first season should also be given a moment’s time. I have already mentioned Arya Stark. The young heroine looks great and will provide the audience with a lot of unforgettable impressions. Tyrion, played by Peter Dinklage, winner of the Golden Globe, is phenomenal as usual. You should also appreciate the young King Joffrey. If people who read Martin’s saga already hated him then, they will hate him even more now. It seems that the actor Jack Gleeson was simply created for this role.
Kit Harrington in the role of Jon Snow is the least likely. The actor lacks more talent – he always has the same, lost and not very intelligent facial expression. It is a pity, because this character is an important element of the plot of northern lands. The other brothers from the Night’s Watch and the savages easily steal his common scenes. The new actor, who playing the Mountain, Conan Stevens, was replaced by Ian Whyte. In his first season, Gregor Clegane was brutal, impulsive and, above all, huge. New Mountain is just tall, but it lacks a muscular, winding figure, which may offend some viewers. Somebody can also have very mixed feelings for the character of the prostitute Ros (Esme Bianco), who is very fond of by the producers. Yes, sometimes it is useful to show the character of other, more significant characters in a better way. Unfortunately, surely many viewers would prefer to see other, more important themes developed instead, which were brutally shortened due to time constraints. Especially since this character did not even appear in Martin’s books…
The creators of the production traveled all over the world in search of the best places to work. Shooting in the open air has paid off very well – the views are simply beautiful. In this respect, the second season dominates over the first one. The landscapes diversified the series and gave it a new impetus. The actors’ behavior has also become much more natural. For example, because the scenes with Night Watch were shot in frosty Iceland, nobody had to pretend to be cold or make extra evaporating breaths on computer.
After the first season, many people complained about the lack of battles. Well, also in the second installment of the series there aren’t many of them, but this time the viewers should be more satisfied. The whole ninth episode was devoted to the battle on the Blackwater. Nightly pictures and well-chosen music (and sometimes also lack of it) created an atmosphere full of tension. The creators gave such emotions as fear or anxiety in properly portions. The fights were spectacular and full of verve. In the whole episode you can only find a few minor shortcomings, but you must admit that the final effect looks really good.
For fans of George R.R. Martin’s books, the greatest advantage of the series should be the way in which books and TV productions complement each other. On the one hand, reading the saga we can get to know the thoughts and motives of the characters’ actions. On the other hand, watching the series we can get to know the characters who didn’t have their own chapters. Their themes are followed up and the viewers have a better insight into what happened behind the scenes of political intrigues. The creator’s extraordinary attention to details is also has huge importance for the series. The film plans and costumes of the characters were created in the most realistic way. They remembered about coats of arms and references to the symbols of individual families or religions in even the smallest ornaments. It also shows some side characters who may be spotted by book fans who are sensitive to details. Of course, some changes in relation to the saga could not be avoided, but rather they should be an interesting variety for the readers of George R.R. Martin.
It is hard to say whether the second season is better than the first one. Certainly, in the new episodes there were many more changes compared to the book than a year ago. At times, the crowd of actions could make some people uncomfortable, especially if they didn’t read A Clash of Kings. Fortunately, the next seasons should be better, because the next volume of the saga, A Storm of Swords, will be devoted to two seasons.
Despite some shortcomings, Game of Thrones is one of the best fantasy productions of recent years. The diversity of lands and characters makes you dizzy, in a positive sense of course. The series should satisfy even the most demanding viewers, and the literally blood-chilling end of the season will surely make all fans look forward to the next seasons.
Below an overview of the main new cast members of the second Game of Thrones season:
- Carice van Houten as Melisandre
- Stephen Dillane as Stannis Baratheon
- Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth
- Gwendoline Christie as Brienne Of Tarth
- Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell
- Tom Wlaschiha as Jaqen H’ghar
- Patrick Malahide as Balon Greyjoy
- Gemma Whelan as Yara (Asha) Greyjoy
- Oona Chaplin as Talisa Maegyr
- Robert Pugh as Craster
- Hannah Murray as Gilly
- Simon Armstrong as Qhorin Half Hand
- Nonso Anozie as Xaro Xhoan Daxos
- Michael McElhatton as Roose Bolton
- Lucian Msamati as Salladhor Saan
- The North Remembers, directed by Alan Taylor
- The Night Lands, directed by Alan Taylor
- What Is Dead May Never Die, directed by Alik Sakharov
- Garden of Bones, directed by David Petrarca
- The Ghost of Harrenhal, directed by David Petrarca
- The Old Gods and the New, directed by David Nutter
- A Man Without Honor, directed by David Nutter
- The Prince of Winterfell, directed by Alan Taylor
- Blackwater, directed by Neil Marshall
- Valar Morghulis, directed by Alan Taylor