This season of Game of Thrones will follow the events of the second book of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, A Clash of Kings. Which I read...very slowly...this past fall.
Right now there are five folks vying for the Iron Throne, which has been vacated by King Robert Baratheon, who was bested by a boar back in Season 1.
Here are your kings who are clashing.
Joffrey Baratheon: Why should he be king? He's Robert's firstborn son. Why shouldn't he be king? He's not really Robert's firstborn son. He's really the first born blond bastard of Jaime Lannister and his twin sister Cersei. Also, he's a child and a complete d-bag.
Stannis Baratheon: Why should he be king? He's the elder of Robert's two brothers and, technically, the rightful heir to the throne if everyone is willing to accept Joffrey's bastard status. Why shouldn't he be king? No one likes him. He lacks charisma and inspires little loyalty and love. He's currently operating under the guidance of a woman named Melisandre who worships a "Lord of Light" instead of the Southron approved seven gods.
Renley Baratheon: Why should he be king? No reason, other than he's sexxxay. Why shouldn't he be king? He has zero claim to the throne. And he is protected by a "Rainbow Guard" that includes his lovah, Loras Tyrell. That's just too on-the-nose, and I won't stand for it.
Robb Stark: Why should he be king? No reason, other than the fact he has the whole North behind him. And a scary ass direwolf. Why shouldn't he be king? He's a young man whose mama still tells him what to do. He's a bad decision machine.
Daenerys Targaryen: Why should she be king? Her father was king before Robert ousted him from the throne. She's the last remaining Targaryen. She has dragons. Why shoudn't she be king? She has lady parts! And she's way far away overseas. No one is paying any attention to her existence.
My Major Burning Question Was ANSWERED: For some reason, I was very concerned about how the show was going to deal with their Jaime Lannister problem. It's a small thing, really. Jaime Lannister is basically not in Clash of Kings. He has, like, one scene and that scene already happened in Season 1. He spends the entire book in a cell under Riverrun, yet HBO has been using Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in its advertising campaign. So, apparently, instead of locking Jaime under a castle, Robb Stark is just going to drag him around Westeros, like a very portable Hannibal Lector.
Since this was basically a set-up and get your bearings episode, here are just some notes and thoughts:
- Peter Dinklage gets top billing in the credits this year. And there are waaay more featured cast members.
- That knight who is made a fool in the first scene? That's Ser Dontos. He'll be back.
- Watching Tyrion and Cersei at each other's throats this season is going to make for some exciting television.
- First appearance of the Direwolf Cam!
- I can't not think of Osha as Tonks. They should've just changed Osha's name to Tonks and kept Asha as Asha.
- Craster, the guy in the woods beyond the Wall, who is basically a Big Love castoff, looks way more put together than I pictured him while reading.
- There is a lot of talk of Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall, in the scene at Craster's keep. Remember that name.
- Apparently, I was mispronouncing "Davos" in my head this whole time. (Davos is Stannis's right hand man, in case you missed that.)
- If you ever wondered what the world smells like from the balcony in the Hand's tower, it's cum, garlic, and rum.
- Cersei has to know that trying to strong arm Littlefinger is a bad idea.
- Robb is sending Catlyn to talk to King Renley, effectively splitting up all the Starks except for Bran and Rickon, who barely counts as a person.
- Is Littlefinger's brothel really just a school for whores? There's always a lot of teaching going on there.
- The "kill the bastards" scene was pretty disturbing and effective. Run, Gendry, run! Run for that Wall, you beautiful bastard, you!
What did you think? If you haven't read the books, are you confused?