The following review is from our friends at Westeros.org
. Last week they gave us their review of episode 1, Winter is Coming
, and stay tuned for our podcast review and discussion of episode 2 later on!
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by Tim van Patten
IMDB Synopsis (by HBO Publicity)
Having agreed to become the King’s Hand, Ned leaves Winterfell with daughters Sansa and Arya, while Catelyn stays behind in Winterfell. Jon Snow heads north to join the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch. Tyrion decides to forego the trip south with his family, instead joining Jon in the entourage heading to the Wall. Viserys bides his time in hopes of winning back the throne, while Daenerys focuses her attention on learning how to please her new husband, Drogo.
This is a melancholy episode, with fully a third of it devoted to unhappiness, and right at the very beginning. First, the unhappiness and suffering of Daenerys, followed by some fifteen minutes of the poignant farwells of the Starks. Beautifully acted, this episode is the first to really give Kit Harington as Jon and Maisie Williams as Arya some meaty scenes, and they do wonderfully. Kit plays the awkwardness of farewell very, very well, while Maisie is endearing (Nymeria’s also rather cute!) Perhaps the most notable thing in these scenes, however, is a change to one of the scenes from the novel.
The choice to not have Catelyn to call Jon by name—something she’s never done before, in the novels (and something she never does in these two episodes)—and tell him that it should have been him is an interesting one, and feels part-and-parcel with the changes to her character and actions we noted in our previous episode analysis. According to the producers, the loss of the line was because it felt too blunt in the scene, and that the actors had already conveyed so much of the tension through their acting. It sounded to me, when speaking to them, that they actually had written the scene with the line in, but it was decided to remove it in the course of filming. In any case, these words are ones that lead many readers to positivelydespise Catelyn. This is, and alway will be, an incredibly harsh judgment given the circumstances.