With the death of a major character in the past, and a massive war brewing, the stage has been set for the second season of Game of Thrones. When the first season aired, I’d only read the first two books. In fact, last year was when I finally read through the series. Now I have read the entire series, even did two posts about the last book, a review, as well as a more spoiler fueled observation post. It’s quite obvious that I am a massive fan of this series, and that I had very high expectations for the new season. How did it hold up?
It held up well. Very well even. Judging by this first episode, I’d say that the second season is going to get better than the first. I know it’s early to call this, so I really hope the show can keep up at the current level, but so far I am sold. Considering that the second book was better than the first one too, I am absolutely stoked for the rest of this season.
That doesn’t mean I have a few minor issues with the season so far though.
So far, my biggest problem is in the casting of Melisandre. Although accents have come up before because of Peter Dinklage’s portrayal of Tyrion Lannister, he played the part well enough for it not to become an obstacle. His accent hasn’t improved that much during the second season, but he’s still a perfect Tyrion because, simply put, he can act the part. Melisandre however looks the part, but everything else about her act falls flat. She doesn’t feel like she’s part of the set, and it’s making the unfitting thick Dutch accent an even bigger problem.
The poisoning scene, which was the opening in A Clash of Kings, didn’t have any tension or atmosphere in it whatsoever because she simply couldn’t create any.
Her being a foreigner cannot be used as a reason or excuse either, because I’ve never heard anyone complain about Jaime Lannister being played by a Danish actor. I really hope she either becomes less of a problem later on, or if the Melisandre character gets toned down in terms of screentime. Because so far she’s really breaking the experience for me.
The rest of the casting has been perfect so far though. Davos, and Stannis, completely go against what I imagined them to look and act like in the books, but they’re still coming across as the character perfectly.
It’s also a shame that we’re this far into the story and we haven’t had much in the way of Riverrun or the Tully family yet. In the books these feel like massive parts of the story that are incredibly important to the plot. I’m still wondering if it’s going to come up later, or if it’s going to be put aside altogether.
These issues put aside, it was a fantastic way to start the new season. I’m really happy to see a fantastic book series as A Song of Ice and Fire getting this strong treatment on television. As always, the way the show brings forward the massive amounts of information from a dense and complex story is fantastic. Every scene, every shot feels loaded and tense, as they move the plot forward at a pace that’s just incredibly.
And when I say the plot is moving forward at an incredible pace, I mean it. The crows are at Crasters, the Seven have been burned, and Lightbringer has been mentioned already.
Also, on a minor note, it’s fun to see how the opening credits went from Starks first to Lannisters first. With Peter Dinklage as the first major name, as opposed to dead last.
It’s hard to think of any further praise so far because, well, I’ve been over all of this before during season one. And all I can think of right now are what I’m looking forward to see later this season. Expect another halfway posts when we get that far.