Game Of Thrones Moment: Valar Morghulis

June 5, 2012 at 9:27 am

Game Of Thrones Moment: Valar Morghulis | Season 2 Episode 10 Review Finale

SEASON 2 EPISODE 9
“VALAR MORGHULIS”

The brilliant final chapter of what was an outstanding season of television has come and gone.  The second season of Game of Thrones is over and the long wait for season 3 begins.  After delivering one of the best episodes of television I’ve ever seen, the minds behind the show delivered a fantastic final episode full of resolution and promise.

It was a season full of amazing battles, tense moments, betrayals, twists, love, violence, greed and heroics.  But none of the moments I picked originated beyond The Wall.  Jon Snow’s story seemed like a season long stall.  What was the purpose of his story?  It became clear to me a few episodes ago that Jon’s tale was more than likely a major seed for Season 3.  It was and it was glorious.

And so the FINAL Game of Thrones Moment is dedicated to The North.

Game Of Thrones Moment: Valar Morghulis

The episode’s final scenes provided us glimpses of not one but TWO giant armies.  One belonging to Mance Rayder and the other made up of organized Zombies and Zombie Horses.  The Night’s Watch certainly has their hands full next season.

It was a phenomenal moment to see the zombie army marching on The Wall especially under the command of this guy:

Game Of Thrones Moment: Valar Morghulis

Obviously there were other big moments not the least of which was Dany’s fire breathing children and escape from Qarth.  But this moment was, to me, the most significant moving forward.  After an entire season at the bottom of the pack in terms of interesting stories, the north is front and center now.  Winterfell is in ruins, Jon Snow is with a huge army of Others and a very dangerous horde is on the loose.

Game of Thrones…  I love you.

Valar Morghulis

The rest of the episode was absolutely packed with awesome moments.  Tyrion had a touching scene with Shae while his father became Hand of The King.  I can’t wait to see how Tywin handles Joffrey’s antics.  Something tells me the young King will be on his best behavior.

We finally got to see Daenerys’ story move forward.  She’s been stuck for a few episodes now but she busted out in a big way.  Those dragons will certainly be a force in future seasons.

Game Of Thrones Moment: Valar Morghulis | Season 2 Episode 10 Review Finale

Stannis’ resolution was a little disappointing.  Still no smoke monster.  Just more manipulation at the hands of Melisandre.  Another sweet moment came when Jaqen revealed his ‘unique’ talent to disappear. I hope that’s not the last we see of the faceless man.

The remainder of the episode was spent repositioning characters for their Season 3 journeys.  All in all, it was a spectacular episode that summed up season 2 and set up an even better season 3.

Game of Thrones…  I love you.

So much so that I finally decided to pick up the books.  I grabbed the first 4 and I’m already blasting through Book One.  I simply can’t wait for another year.  By the time season 3 begins, I’ll be completely caught up.

So…

GAME OF THRONES MOMENTS: SEASON 3

I had so much fun writing this series.  It’s hard to believe it’s already been 10 weeks.  10 tremendous episodes.  10 memorable moments.

Next Spring, this column will return with a different twist.  For the first time, I’ll be able to relate to the story as both a viewer AND a reader.  I’m looking forward to picking apart the similarities and differences.  Unfortunately for us all, Winter is Coming and it’s going to be a long wait until this incredible show resumes.

Until then, catch up on past episode here:

Episode 1 Moment
Episode 2 Moment
Episode 3 Moment
Episode 4 Moment
Episode 5 Moment
Episode 6 Moment
Episode 7 Moment
Episode 8 Moment

Episode 9 Moment

What’s your favorite Game of Thrones moment?

Game Of Thrones Moment: Blackwater

May 28, 2012 at 9:44 am

Game Of Thrones Moment: Blackwater | Season 2 Episode 9 Review

SEASON 2 EPISODE 9
“BLACKWATER”

How the hell am I supposed to pick ONE moment after that!?  That was by far my favorite episode of Game of Thrones.  Period.  Just one week after my least favorite episode of the season too.

Finally…  Finally!  Stannis has come to King’s Landing and what an entrance it was.  My first instinct was to choose the impossibly huge wild fire explosion that engulfed men and ships in awesome green flames.  Or perhaps the moment was the incredibly brutal battle itself that was worthy of the silver screen.  At one point, I veered towards the end of the episode which surprised me.  I’m always thankful for twists I don’t see coming.  (Still…  I do want to read the books now.)

Blackwater was an absolute triumph when it comes to achievements in television.  To stage such a huge battle is a monumental accomplishment.  It’s the most fun I’ve had watching television since the season 4 finale of Dexter.

For me, choosing the best moment from Blackwater came down to character over action.  Courage over spectacle.  The Half Man.

TYRION LANNISTER

“Those are brave men knocking at our door.  Let’s go kill them!”

Game Of Thrones Moment: Blackwater | Season 2 Episode 9 Review

Tyrion has long been my favorite character and I’m definitely not the only one who feels that way.  His growth in King’s Landing has been the spine of the season.  And now he shines in what may be the moment of the season.  Tyrion’s biggest moment.  Inspiring the men to fight was a grand speech but heading out to fight Stannis’ men was a phenomenal moment.

It’s unfortunate that he was hurt but it made his act of bravery even sweeter.  It’ll be interesting to see how Tywin rewards his son.  What will become of The Cowardly King’s Hand now that Tywin has come to King’s Landing?

BLACKWATER

The rest of the episode was mostly devoted to a drunken Cersei and some wonderful Sansa moments:

“The worst ones always live.”

Game Of Thrones Moment: Blackwater | Season 2 Episode 9 Review

Her journey with The Hound will certainly be interesting to say the least.  The real treat here was the battle itself.  Gigantic, violent and full of ‘holy crap’ moments.  I suppose my only real complaint was the absence of both Melisandre and the smoke monster.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from old Smokey.  Why wasn’t it around during this crucial battle?  That’s just one of many questions this episode set up for the finale next week.  One episode left…  Starting to get sad…

Catch up on past episodes here:

Episode 1 Moment
Episode 2 Moment
Episode 3 Moment
Episode 4 Moment
Episode 5 Moment
Episode 6 Moment
Episode 7 Moment
Episode 8 Moment

Game Of Thrones Moment: The Prince Of Winterfell

May 22, 2012 at 10:18 am

Game Of Thrones Moment: The Prince of Winterfell | Season 2 Episode 8 Review

SEASON 2 EPISODE 8
“THE PRINCE OF WINTERFELL”

I hate to say it but this may have been my least favorite episode of season 2…  But this is Game of Thrones after all so that’s pretty much giving it a 7/10 instead of 9 or 10.  There was a LOT of talking in this episode as the players move towards their penultimate destinations.

Stannis is knocking on King Joffrey’s front door.  Tywin marches towards Robb who has a separate force ready to reclaim Winterfell.  Daenery’s is on route to reclaim her children from the House of the Undying.

In the middle stands Tyrion has his quest to clean up the mess his nephew has caused in King’s Landing without revealing his love for Shae.  Brienne escorting Jaime amidst constant teasing at her expense.   Kat having to deal with Robb’s anger after freeing Jaime in the first place.  John Snow not doing much in the north except fearing people with skull masks.  But the most entertaining conversation in the episode was courtesy of Arya and Jaqen.

So this week’s moment is revealed.

“Un-name me.”

Game Of Thrones Moment: The Prince of Winterfell | Season 2 Episode 8 Review

Even though it was incredibly frustrating to have Tywin right in front of her without naming him, I thought Arya’s quick thinking was pretty great.  Naming Jaqen knowing he would honor his word was a brilliant way to get what she wanted.  Freedom.  His reaction was priceless.  It’ll be interesting to see where Jaqen pops up next.  He’s slowly creeping up my list of favorite characters on the show.

“The girl must do as she’s told.”

Still, she should have named Tywin first but I understand it’s a TV show and that’s a crappy way to kill off such a strong character.

THE PRINCE OF WINTERFELL

While nothing MAJOR happened in this episode, it was still necessary to prepare us for the season’s final episodes.  The only real disappointment this season has been John Snow’s storyline.  It’s…  Just okay.  I can’t help but wonder if his journey is more of a seed for Season 3 rather than a vital component of Season 2.

All in all, it was another solid episode of Game of Thrones.  It just wasn’t as amazing as the others before it and certainly will pale in comparison to what lies ahead.

Catch up on past episodes here:

Episode 1 Moment
Episode 2 Moment
Episode 3 Moment
Episode 4 Moment
Episode 5 Moment
Episode 6 Moment
Episode 7 Moment

Game Of Thrones Moment: The Old Gods And The New

May 8, 2012 at 9:06 am

Weekly Game of Thrones Review | The Athletic Nerd

SEASON 2 EPISODE 6
“THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW”

This episode was up and down for me but it did come with one unforgettable moment we’ve all been thinking about since day 1.  Someone threw a big chunk of crap in King Joffrey’s face.  As if that wasn’t enough, Tyrion finally (and literally) tried to knock some sense into his nephew.

“We’ve had vicious kings and we’ve had idiot kings, but I don’t know that we’ve ever been cursed with a vicious idiot.”

So this week’s moment goes to Tyrion once again.  It’s mind boggling that Joffrey is this clueless proclaiming that an entire mob be put to death while they are rising up against him.  It’s sad that Tyrion will never get through to him now that he’s caused a war and everyone hates him.  It’ll be interesting to see what Joffrey does now that people have begun to revolt.  It’ll ALSO be interesting to see what he does to Tyrion for slapping him.

I’m so happy we still have over half a season left.

The Old Gods And The New

As I mentioned above, the rest of the episode was hit or miss for me.  The events in Winterfell were certainly compelling especially with that brutal beheading at the hands of newly evil Theon.  Robb Stark’s reaction to the news was awesome.  We really don’t get enough Robb though it’s nice that his mother returned and he is finally up to speed on everything.

Arya is still trying to keep her identity safe though it would appear her anonymity will be short lived.  She has now wasted a ‘name’ to protect herself but WHY hasn’t she ordered one of those fancy darts to strike the neck of Tywin?  Problem solved right?

Jon Snow and Daenerys’ story lines felt like stall tactics in this episode.  Jon volunteered to join the men and then couldn’t kill the Wildling girl…  The fact that she knew his name was interesting but I’d like to know where it’s going.  Is the North going to invade Westeros at some point?  What will they find now that they are beyond the wall? (Maybe I should read the books)

As for Daenerys, she is still clinging to hope that someone will hand her an army and now she doesn’t even have her dragons.  At some point, this girl needs to show the Qarth folk who is boss.  We are all rooting for her at this point but no one listens to her.  She needs to do some convincing next episode.

Game Of Thrones Moment: The Old Gods And The New | Season 2 Episode 6 Review

Catch up on previous episodes:

Episode 1 Moment
Episode 2 Moment
Episode 3 Moment
Episode 4 Moment
Episode 5 Moment

Game Of Thrones Moment: The Ghost of Harrenhal

April 30, 2012 at 9:23 am

Weekly Game of Thrones Review | The Athletic Nerd

SEASON 2 EPISODE 5
“THE GHOST OF HARRENHAL”

Season One was memorable because at any given moment, a major character could fall.  Nobody was untouchable and so many perished in unexpected and compelling twists.  This season promises much more of the same as there can only be one on the iron throne but it hasn’t happened yet…  Until Episode 5 that is.

My biggest fear after last week’s smoke monster finale was an episode free of the Stannis/Renly storyline.  Thankfully, The Ghost of Harrenhal picks up right were the black smokey birth left off.  This episode presented several interesting moments but none greater than the smoke monster’s murder of Renly Baratheon.

Renly Baratheon game of thrones

Choosing a moment that occurs within the first 5 minutes of an episode kind of hints that the rest of the episode is sub bar.  Quite the opposite.  I chose this moment because it’s mentioned throughout.  Renly’s death coupled with his banner men joining Stannis reaches every corner of the world quickly.

Stannis now possesses a massive army of men and a huge fleet of ships.  And the other players reacted accordingly.  In King’s Landing, Joffrey prepares for the siege with fire much to Tyrion ‘Don’t call me a Demon Monkey’ Lannisters dismay.  Out in Qarth, Daenerys sees it as her opportunity to strike with so much chaos in Westeros.  The Robb vs Tywin war will certainly be impacted by the news and the list goes on.

Renly’s death was a catalyst and a perfect way for the writers to sum up where everyone stands in the war.

Even more important was the realization that Stannis’ men have begun to suspect Melisandre (who was curiously absent in this episode) as a master manipulator and the true reason for the army’s ‘good fortunes’.  It was a great time to cast a little doubt that her intentions aren’t…  Ahem… noble.

UPDATE: It’s tough to tell who would win in a fight between this smoke monster and the one from Lost…  But Stannis and Melisandre’s smoke baby is certainly ruthless.  All the Lost monster did was throw people around for the most part…

THE GHOST OF HARRENHAL

The rest of the episode was mostly made up of characters reacting to Renly’s death.  However, as the dominos began to fall, Arya finally got some revenge.  Last week I wondered how long she would suffer before something good happened.  Enter Jaqen H’ghar, a man she saved, who pledges 3 kills in payment and all she has to do is provide names.

Immediately, she takes out The Tickler but it’s interesting that she didn’t choose Tywin first.  King Joffrey and Tywin HAVE to be on her list right?  Right?

We’ll have to wait and see next week.

Catch up on previous episodes:

Episode 1 Moment
Episode 2 Moment
Episode 3 Moment
Episode 4 Moment