This review contains spoilers.
10. Fire And Blood
And so it comes to an end. In ten episodes, Game Of Thrones has hooked audiences, ensured healthy sales figures for George R. R. Martin’s books, while guaranteeing that HBO walks home with all the Emmys at this year’s awards ceremony.
If you’re already bemoaning how you’re going to be able to wait till next spring for the new series, rest assured that pre-production on Season 2 ( A Clash Of Kings) is already underway, with filming expected to commence in Northern Ireland next month.
Considering the number of storylines that had to be (temporarily) wrapped up, the writers did a great job of making sure that almost everyone got to finish the first season in style.
Daenerys found the dragon within by burning the treacherous witch who killed her unborn child, and essentially, placed Drogo into a coma. What was worse was that I was sympathetic to what Mirri Maz Duur had done. Her people had been slaughtered, her home burnt and she was brutally raped. I couldn’t begrudge her wanting to get revenge on the Khal and his kin.
However, it was Emilia Clarke’s portrayal of Daenerys that was the most emotional, especially in the scene when she suffocated her ‘sun and stars’, to spare him the limbo existence he’d be facing. It showed how far the character has come in ten episodes, from being the bullied sister of Viserys to the khalessi of Khal Drogo, and then into a leader in her own right. Emilia Clarke has been excellent in the role, and I can’t wait for her return and see where she takes the character next season.
After the shocking execution of Ned Stark, Robb, Arya and Jon Snow were all reeling from their father’s death and faced with their own personal choices. For Robb, it’s opting who to side with in order to bring peace, until his men decide he he’d make a better king than any Southern dandy. For Arya, it’s now a case of merely surviving, as she’s disguised as a boy and shanghaied into the Night’s Watch. She’s now surrounded by killers, rapists and thugs, making the road ahead a treacherous one.
For me, though, the best scenes of the episode were with Jon Snow. Distraught at the death of his father and determined to aid his brother, Jon contemplates deserting the Night’s Watch. It’s only Samwell Tarly and his other ‘brothers’ who convince him to stay by reminding him of his vows. With only three scenes at The Wall, the writers packed a lot of punch into surprisingly little screen time.
It helps that Samwell (John Bradley-West) is a wonderful comedic and cowardly yin to Jon’s (Kit Harrington) dour yang, and that the two of them are led by the awesome Mormont (James Cosmo Braveheart, Troy). I can’t wait to see what adventures the Night’s Watch get into north of The Wall.
However, while Arya, Jon and Daenerys’ storylines received the necessary attention in the finale, and other characters had their moments in the sun (Varys, Lord Baelish and the delightfully evil Joffrey), other characters were, unfortunately, forgotten.
Apart from a few lines, Cersei was essentially absent from the finale and had no particular scene to make an impression. At least Catelyn got to face off against Jaime. Hell, even Lord Pycelle had a rather superfluous scene, which showed the old dog has some life in him yet. Still, with only fifty minutes to wrap things up, it was inevitable that some characters would be short-changed.
So, for those who’ve read the books, we have three weeks to kill before Martin releases his fifth book, and we can continue with the adventures of our beloved characters. For those simply following the series, you have eight months or so to kill, so let the speculation begin on who will survive the Game Of Thrones‘ second season.
Read our review of episode 9, Baelor, here.
All our Game Of Thrones reviews are here.