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Game of Thrones Recap: The Night Lands

Winter Is Coming

Editors Note: Last week, contributor Donna Dickens brought us her thoughts on the season premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones. She’s back again today to talk about episode two. Character names have been changed to protect the easily confused. (Don’t worry, you’ll understand that in a minute.) And guess what? The show’s official twitter account just announced it’s been renewed for a third season. Huzzah!

Season 2: Episode Two – The Night Lands

In which book deviations are becoming more noticeable but not in a bad way, except when it is. (Spoilers Ahoy!)

  • Pykeʼs perfection in the opening credits makes up for Never-The-Eyrie-In-My-Heart all last season. But what sounded foreboding and unique in the books looks impractical and dangerous in practice. Of course the Greyjoys are the Vikings of Westeros so surely their architects were drunk and can be forgiven.
  • Well good, the fear that Aryaʼs boobs would come in between last season and this turned out to be nothing, but Maisie Williams is about to turn 15 so they should probably get a move on…Jaqen HʼGhar where the fuck is your fabulous hair? This is a travesty against fashion. And Rorge, a messed up nose is not the same as a missing nose. Iʼm doubting your commitment. At least Biter is on top of it with his pointed teeth.
  • Yoren is a BAMF. Of course Arya has a track record of getting badasses killed, so maybe tone it down a bit. Anyone else think Gold Cloaks are in the shittiest armor? Nothing protecting their legs from the sharpened stick of angry city folk and why would you send the local police on the equivalent of a federal matter. And only two?
  • Cersei certainly likes to rip thing up…OMG Tyrion get out of my head. If only ripping up paper could actually solve problems instead of exacerbating them.
  • Meanwhile in the “GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS” of the North, Dolorous Edd is remarkably well cast and for a hot second I thought we were going to hear about the rape that wasnʼt rape that got this Crow sent to the wall but no we just get Ghost terrorizing Gilly. Sam sounds as assertive as he gets. Ghost? Ghost no? Get away? Ghost you are a ghost dog, you donʼt even make noise. Stop that.
  • Jon looks like a disapproving parent as well he should. Sam basically said she followed me home? Can I keep her Jon? But a;lsjflkasjdflkj Gillyʼs overbite is so adorable. And I ship them so hard already and this actress is quietly portraying the courage and strength in her character and Sam stop having amazing lines because I canʼt deal. “I canʼt steal her. Sheʼs a person, not a goat.” And then Jon has to be all “Sheʼs a ggggiirrrllll. Girls canʼt fight” and Iʼm cackling to myself because YGRITTE.
  • Jorah Mormontʼs mysterious neck scar everyone. Theories on how he got it? It was too prominent to not mean something. Then suddenly, uncanny sense of direction horse! Welp, guess it doesnʼt matter that Dany was giving Rakharo the sexy side eye. Every time she has a scene itʼs just more proof she has no idea about these people sheʼs leading.
  • I shouldnʼt be surprised they kept Theonʼs ship board entertainment scene. Canon sexposition is canon! Damn Theon, can you fit in this cabin with your ego? How can you breathe? The Captainʼs daughter can barely function with your ego pressed against her, much less understand that you were using her. Oh wait, nope. She understands now. #sadsexface
  • Cut from sexposition to…SEXPOSITION. To the surprise of literally no one, Pedofinger is creepinʼ on his clients at the carnal house. “Itʼs for work!” Sure, sure. Some people pay good money for their whores to cry. Littlefinger just needs to market it better. False ignorance doesnʼt sit well on you Petyr. What baby, indeed? You know, the one who was brutally murdered? Robertʼs baby. Donʼt act like you donʼt know who Robert was fucking. Littlefinger is Godfather of Westeros, “You have a nice face there Ros. Be ashame if something happen to it.”
  • What has the world come to when Tyrion is the moral one? Dig your grave there, Gold Cloaks Lord Janos. Actually donʼt. Stop before he…dammit now Slynt is Jonʼs problem. Silver lining? Thus begins Bronnʼs wonderous and dizzying ascent. Somewhere in Kingʼs Landing Lollys Stokeworth just felt a disturbance in the Force.
  • Arya Stark has had it with Hot Pie and Lommy Greenhands-In-Theory-Because-His-Hands-Are-Clearly-Flesh-Colored. The Kingʼs Road is hereby changed to the Deviation Road because NONE of these characters are committed to their roles. At least Lommy is already harping on his “Yield Yield Yield” argument.
  • Gendry/Arya #OTP. Haters to the left. You can see the moment where he falls in love with her. Age is only a number and Maisie is a year and some change from being able to drive a car so this ship has sailed minus squick for your comfort and convenience.
  • Oh God, Asha [Yara]. This is so awkward. SO AWKWARD. Was anyone else expecting her to look more Kate Beckinsale? Just me? Grandma, tell me about the time Great Uncle Theon thought you were a fishmongerʼs daughter and tried to molest you on a horse. Balon Greyjoy HAS NO SONS. No one want little orphan Theon. He is one Tuskan Raider masacre away from turning to the Dark Side. How does Theon feel about Ned Starkʼs death? You can hear him thinking, “Donʼt say sad, donʼt say sad.” Watching this outside of Theonʼs head makes him look even more naive and out of place. NOT YARA. NEVER YARA. We arenʼt that stupid HBO. We can tell the difference between Asha and Tonks [Osha].
  • Salladhor Saan wins at life.
  • The Queen slaughters babies. Oh God her face. The face of “protecting my crazy son”. Fear cuts deeper than swords but sibling rivalry cuts deeper than fear. They say you can only hurt the ones you love but Cersei and Tyrion accept that challenge.
  • Stannis has the coolest Risk board ever. Itʼs good to see Melisandre/Stannis in action. Obviously they were getting it on in the books but without a POV chapter it was hard to confirm. I sense this scene will be the RENLY AND LORAS ARENʼT GAY! moment of Season Two. Prepare thy facepalms. But wait, what? Selyse has only birthed stillborns? Did they write out Shireen? I mean I can kind of understand writing out Edric Storm though it would be a great way to showcase Stannisʼs reluctance to convert and Melisandreʼs blood lust and OMG she is more terrifying naked than men in full armor. Brace yourself, Shadow Babies are coming.
  • Jon Snow is judging you, Crastor. JUDGING. YOU. Judging you so intently he never even saw you circle around behind him. Weʼre off the written map now folks. #HereThereBeChanges

Donna Dickens is an editor for Buzzfeed and an avid A Song of Ice and Fire fan. She’s trying really hard to separate the show from the novels, with varying degrees of success.

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