Top five scenes for Game of Thrones: Season Two
Season one of the new HBO series Game of Thrones has concluded, and for fans of the series it already feels like an eternity until season two can being (likely in March 2012). The series is based on the "Song of Fire and Ice" book series written by George R. R. Martin, who will be releasing book five in the series on July 12, 2011.
For television fans, whether they've read the books or not, it's going to be a long wait. Fans of the books however, will have a hint of what's coming next. So, without further ado, here are the top five scenes from the book that TV fans can anticipate during the long winter.
5. Maester Cressen's deadly gambit
Book two of the series is named "A Clash of Kings," referring to the conflicts between the four men (well, three and whiney little Joffery) who have claimed the title of king in the kingdom of Westeros following the events of the first book. One of the four - Stannis Baratheon, the eldest brother of the dead king - was only referred to in the first book/season, and never seen directly. That changes right away in the prologue of the second novel, which takes place in Stannis' court.
The prologue, told from the point of view of Stannis' longtime advisor Maester Cressen, and could easily stand by itself as a wonderful short story. Cressen, advises caution, and perhaps an alliance with other forces against the Lannisters. Stannis has a new advisor in his court however, Melisandre "The Red Lady," who instead calls for open war and murder.
Fearing for his lord's safety, as well as his soul, old Cressen makes a fateful decision that should make for great television.
4. Arya fighting in the battle at the abandoned keep
By the end of the first season/book, it is pretty easy to boo the Lannisters and be cheering for the Stark children as they fight honor and survival.
But just in case anyone needed those feelings reinforced, there's the battle of the Harrentown Holdfast.
As season one ended, little Arya had just witnessed her father's beheading, before being taken by a man of the Night's Watch, Yoren. Disguised as a boy, Arya is told by Yoren that he'll sneak her back to Winterfell. The wartorn countryside is not a safe place however, even for the supposedly neutral Night's Watch.
Pillaging Lannister knights pose a special threat to Arya, who fears that her family's enemies may still hunt her. Things take a turn for the worst when the group of Night's Watch recruits take shelter in a small holdfast (fort), only to have Lannister raiders attack in the night.
Any other young girl, already traumatized a dozen different ways, and facing a likely death would understandably be afraid in such a circumstance. But Arya is a Stark, and fed up with running, and charges into the fray.
If the show does this scene justice, it'll be hard for the audience not to shout out "Winterfell!" right alongside Arya as she charges into battle.
3. Tyrion and Varys
What happens when two of the most clever men in the seven kingdoms end up scheming in the same court? Quite a lot of witty reparte, it turns out. At the end of the first season/book Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is sent by his father to King's Landing to act as Hand of the King - mostly to keep his fickly and cruel 13-year-old nephew from causing trouble as the new King of the Iron Throne.
The former Hand of the King, Ned Stark, was completely artless when it came to court politics and intrigue. The man before him, John Aryn, was much the same. In reflecting upon the two past Hand's fates (poisoned/beheaded) Tyrion can only shake his head, thinking, "Men like that ... too honest to live, too noble to shit, Cersei devours such fools every morning when she breaks her fast"
But Tyrion is a much different man, one who's skilled at playing Cersei's kinds of games. In King's Landing his dear sister is far from the only viper in the pit though. As he finds his way around court, he soon realizes that the eunuch, and court spymaster Varys is a man to be reckoned with.
In just one snippet, out of several good exchanges of banter between the two:
Tyrion: "Lord Varys, sometimes I feel as though you are the best friend I have in King's Landing, and sometimes I feel you are my worst enemy."
Varys: "How odd. I think quite the same of you."
2. Cersei tells it like it is
One of the most painful parts of the first season was to see Cersei so blatantly manipulate naive Sansa Stark, with sweet words of love and caring. Sansa idolized the beautiful queen, blindly believing the facade of a perfect and loving monarch.
In book two, as battle rages around King's Landing, a little too much wine and a lot of stress leads Cersei to finally speak honestly to Sansa. The Lannister lady mocks Sansa for still believing in any sort of honor or nobility in the world, and speaks casually about what will likely befall the women of the city, should it be sacked.
Cersei also shares some of her personal motives for being the kind of person she is, talking about how having a twin brother in Jamie Lannister, helped shade her view of how unfair life is for women.
"He was heir to Casterly Rock, while I was to be sold to some stranger like a horse, to be ridden whenever my new owner liked, beaten whenever he liked, and cast aside in time for a younger filly."
The moment serves as a refreshing, though ugly, glimpse at Cersei's true face.
1. The battle for King's Landing
There are quite a few battles, big and small in the second book/season, but none are bigger than the battle for King's Landing.
Much of the book focuses on how Tyrion made preparations for the capitol city's eventual attack. And when the battle comes, The Imp gets to see more of war than he ever cared for: "Plumes of fire thirty and forty feet high danced upon the water, crackling and hissing. For a few moments they washed out the screams. There were hundreds in the water, drowning or burning or doing a little of both."
There isn't much more that can be said about the battle without spoiling a great deal, but sufficed to say, it should be a spectacle to see the HBO series creators David Beinhoff and D.B. Weiss bring it to life on the screen.
So there you have it, five of the most anticipated scenes of the next season! Book fans, do you have your own suggestions? Jon Snow's adventures beyond the wall? Theon Greyjoy meeting his sister perhaps? Or Bran's dreams in the dark? Daenerys meeting the necromancers?
Also, vote below for the character you're most excited to see introduced next season!