First Watch Game of Thrones TV

First Watch: “Game of Thrones” Season 2, Episode 2 “The Night Lands” Review

Quick and Dirty Plot:

On this episode of “Game of Thrones,” the council in King’s Landing refuse to entertain Robb Stark’s (Richard Madden) terms for peace. They also ignore the Night’s Watch asking for more men and reports of the undead. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), as the acting Hand-of-the-King, has words with Varys (Conleth Hill). Tyrion then tries to figure out who ordered the killing of all the former King’s bastard children. No one tells him, so Tyrion banishes the guard dude and replaces him with his BFF, Bronn (Jerome Flynn). Cersei (Lena Headey) is not too pleased and confronts Tyrion about it. The confrontation shows Tyrion that it was actually Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and so he warns his sister to not be a dick.

The King’s Guard searches for Gendry (Joe Dempsie). When the guards reach the caravan, Yoren (Francis Magee) sends them away. Gendry then tells Arya (Maisie Williams) that he knows she’s a girl. Arya then learns that Gendry spoke to her father before his death, so she reveals herself to be Arya Stark. 

Photo Credit: HBO

Meanwhile, Stannis (Stephan Dillane) and his lady friend Melisandre (Carice van Houten) have a weird sex scene while Stannis’s confidant (Liam Cunningham) goes to recruit pirates for their fleet. Theon (Alfie Allen) is back in his homeland and hits on this girl, Yara (Gemma Whelan), who then turns out to be his sister. Seriously?! Everyone, leave your sisters alone! He then presents his father, Balon (Patrick Malahide), with Robb’s proposal and Balon rejects it. Theon then learns his father wants the North for himself.

Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is still wandering the desert, and one of her camp member’s horses returns with his head in a sack. Jorah (Iain Glen) tells her this is likely a message from another Khal. Daenerys vows to avenge his death. And at the Wall, Sam (John Bradley) starts asking Jon (Kit Harington) about taking Gilly (Hannah Murray) with him since she’s married to her dad, which is hella gross, and Sam has a thing for her. Gilly is pregnant and Jon wonders what Craster (Robert Pugh) does with the boys, and it turns out he kills them. 

Photo Credit: HBO


This episode was kind of boring. Sorry, friends. I get that we need exposition from time to time, but have a bit of a juicy plot. There are, like, 80 things happening right now. But here’s what I have gotten from this episode.

First of all, no Sansa (Sophie Turner)? How boring. How is she doing living among the Lannisters? Is she okay? Does she at least have a friend? I am interested in that, not Joffrey being a jerk. Though I don’t know how I feel about Cersei being the Queen Regent. She is super careless. Last season, she was way more cunning. In this episode, she just seems very reckless and short-sighted. Everything that is going on with my girl Daenerys is the pits. She has dragons now, and instead of enjoying a little bit of power, she is once again completely down on her luck. She cannot catch a break. I am really looking forward to Feminist Icon Daenerys, in all her glory, finally being featured on the show. But these past few episodes felt like they have once again minimized her for the sake of focusing on the other plots. 

Also, why does this show have so much incest? Like, who writes that?? First, we have the twincest (barf). Now, we have Theon hitting on his sister. I get that he hasn’t been at his homeland since his childhood, but I would think that you could figure out who your dang sister is! Then we have Caster, who has daughters with his daughters and then marries all of them. It is just super messed up. Yuck.

Photo Credit: HBO

At this point, I am trying to figure out who I want to succeed here. Stannis is a jerk, and that witch lady he hangs with is super sketchy. We all know that I have a pure, intense hatred for Joffrey and the Lannisters in general. Then there’s Robb Stark, who can win battles but is also kind of stupid. The whole Stark family wants their cake and to eat it too, and that’s not how Westero works. Renly (Gethin Anthony) hasn’t really been seen yet, but he seemed smart. That’s why he got out of King’s Landing before Ned was killed. 

I think I got sucked back into my issues with the show all over again. First, all of the unnecessary and super graphic nudity is back with a vengeance. Second, there are a whole bunch of new people, and I’m just expected to once again magically understand who they are. Just more white people that I cannot tell apart because they all have beards and they are all wearing Ikea rugs as capes. I know that I really liked the ending of season one. Those last few episodes were truly incredible. I am just a little salty about being back to square one when it comes to knowing what exactly is going on. I don’t like being confused. I don’t find it enjoyable. 

Photo Credit: HBO

Also, as I said in my complaint about where Daenerys is, I feel like there may be too much going on, so then we are getting fewer, meatier plot points. It just appears that they are check-ins, and there isn’t really an A storyline. Normally, on shows, there is an A storyline that takes up the bulk or has the most substantial part of the narrative. Most shows have B and C storylines, which consist of smaller plot points to propel characters not featured, or heavily featured, in the A storyline. If the plot points were more focused, or more time was spent on each episode, I don’t think I would be feeling as cheated as I do now. Because the season one finale was so incredible, I just wish this episode had something a bit more substantial, since the season opener certainly didn’t have that. I know that the show gets better; I witnessed it last season. But this episode, and the previous episode, are slowing my momentum. 

Out-of-Context Quotes:

  • Cersei just tears up Robb’s demands. Rude.
  • Sam is right, greedy to have all of those wives who are also his damn daughters.
  • Damn. Daenerys needs it to rain.
  • Why is this lady naked? Wtf.
  • Why is Theon always hitting on ladies?! Stop, bro.
  • Stannis has witches and pirates? Now that’s a party!
  • Oh, more boobs. Why?
  • I can’t see anything! Who did this cinematography?

“Game of Thrones” is available to watch on HBO and HBO Max.

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Featured image credit: HBO

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