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June 04, 2012

"Game of Thrones" Ends with a Punch-in-the-Gut Finale (Spoilers!!)

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Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Ser Jorah (Iain Glen)

Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke)

(Image Courtesy HBO)

The iconic shot from last season's Game of Thrones finale was of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) rising from the ashes with her baby dragons perched on her naked body. It was a punch-in-the-gut visual that would be hard for any TV show to top.

Well last night, Game of Thrones did it again. This year's punch-in-the-gut shot was a full on, extreme closeup of a White Walker on horseback. With it's hideous blue eyes and frozen facial features, we've finally gotten a full on look at the frightening enemy beyond The Wall.

Like the Wildling Osha (Natalia Tena) has been saying all season, those battles for the iron throne will look like schoolyard tussles compared to what's coming from the north when winter descends.

For those of you who may not know, Game of Thrones is all about several factions vying to command the kingdom of Westeros.  But what makes the series so great is that it's not all swords, sorcery and dark magic.  It's grounded by the family relationships and conflicts, and masterful storytelling that never forgets the audience first has to care about the characters if they are to believe in the swords, sorcery and dark magic.

Not to mention some first class acting.  

And for a world that's purportedly run by men, this season a wide variety of women characters came into their own and took charge. 

Which brings me back to those baby dragons, last night Daenerys braved the House of the Undying and turned the tables on the unsuspecting warlocks residing there.  They thought they could trap Daenerys and her dragons and keep them captive.  Um, no.

Those dragons may be little, but that doesn't mean they can't do major damage when Mama Daenerys commands them.  Bye, bye warlocks.

Not doing so well was poor Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), who after keeping the Red Keep from falling during last week's spectacular battle of Blackwater Bay, was rewarded by being summarily dumped as the King's Hand.  And now he knows his ruthless sister Cersei (Lena Headey) will surely try to have him killed again.

The second punch-in-the-gut shot for me was when Arya Stark's (Maisie Williams) own personal assassin, Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) became a new man.  Literally.   Say it with me, "Valar Morghulis."

As season finale's go, it was a goodie.

It capped off a second season that unfolded like the bud of a beautiful, poisonous rose.  Each individual plot like a petal separate from the others, but all contributing to the cohesive and deadly whole.

Some highlights:

  • Any scene between young Arya Stark and the brutal Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance).  Each one better than the last as the audience held its breathe praying Tywin wouldn't discover Arya’s true identity.
  • Any of the verbal sparing matches between Tyrion and his "sell-sword" Bronn (Jerome Flynn).  I love Bronn.  Please, please don't let him die anytime soon.
  • Any scene between Tyrion and the sister who hates him, Cersei.  One week Tyrion is almost moved to comfort her as she talks about her children, and the next week, he’s vowing to turn her joy into “ashes in her mouth” after she threatens the love of his life.
  • The scenes when Blackwater Bay is engulfed by the lethal green flames of Wild Fire.
  • Poor Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony) getting it in the back by a mystical assassin shaped like his brother Stannis (Stephen Dillane).
  • Weasley King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) running from the battlements the minute things get dire.  Can not wait to see his “pinched little head” on a spike.
  • Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) trying to figure out if she can really trust The Hound (Rory McCann) when he offers to take her home.  Too bad that didn't worked out.

The only weak spot was the action north of The Wall. There were too many scenes between Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and the "I think I'm such a fabulous Wildling," Ygritte (Rose Leslie).  Or as I like to call her, Nanette-of-the-North.  She was boring, beyond annoying, and their chemistry, absolutely nil. 

Now that season two is over, I can start on the second book in the series, A Clash of Kings and compare and contrast.  Woot!

Did you see the Game of Thrones finale?  What did you think?

Cross posted from BlogHer


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