Game of Thrones Season Two, Episode 8 – A Prince of Winterfell
Directed by Alan Taylor
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Starring Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Carice van Houten, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
I wasn’t blown away by Game of Thrones Episode 8, “A Prince of Winterfell.” That’s not to say there weren’t individual moments throughout the episode I enjoyed, but I felt it was lacking as a whole. My major quarrel with the series has been that it spends a lot of time setting up plots to pay off later on down the line and after several weeks of payoff, we had another setup episode.
I get what the show’s trying to do. There’s been a warning throughout the course of the season that something major was coming and most of this week is building up towards this major event.
The upcoming battle for King’s Landing looks like it’s going to be horrific. Between the unrest in the capital streets and Stannis’ (Stephen Dillane) sheer and unrelenting poise headed into it, it creates a downright scary situation. I know that the show has gone out of its way to make us not like Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), but his total arrogance towards Stannis is simply frightening and marked the first time I was worried for the character. As much as I hate him, Joffrey is a character that always makes me feel something (even if it’s hate) when he’s on screen and that goes a long way to develop a better relationship with the show.
In Winterfell, Theon’s (Alfie Allen) rule continues to fall apart. Outside of the ending reveal, Theon is losing support very quickly and his own family doesn’t believe in his ability to hold onto the Stark stronghold. The self-proclaimed ‘Prince of Winterfell’ has certainly paid the iron price, but he may pay with his life for crossing Robb Stark (Richard Madden). However, as the situation continues to spiral out of control, it’s highly engaging to watch the Greyjoy make so many horribly misguided mistakes.
Speaking of the king in the north, things finally come to a head between Robb and Talisa (Oona Chaplin), not that this particular plot hadn’t been obvious since her introduction, but it makes sense given the context of the past couple of episodes. Having both his best friend and his mother betray him, it makes sense that Robb would run into the arms of the nurse he’s had his eyes on for quite sometime.
Again, I get what the show is doing here. Pieces again need to be arranged in order to close out the season in an epic fashion, but the individual moments weren’t strong enough together to make the episode stand out to me in any particular way. However, the upcoming battle for King’s Landing looks to be the epic episode I’ve been waiting to watch all season.
- Poor Ros (Esmé Bianco). As one of my favorite minor characters, I hope she shows up later on. (NOTE: I do know that she isn’t in the books and I know some fans don’t like her because she ‘conveniently’ happens to have intersecting plots with most major characters, but I think she’s been a good addition to the show). And it’s nice to see Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) have something to fight for. I think he’s going to need something to fight for.
- After not being interested in his story, events with Jon Snow’s (Kit Harrington) adventures north of the wall have finally drawn me back in.
- Have I mentioned how much of a treasure Maisie Williams and her take on Arya is? But seriously you all, she’s such an amazingly talented young actress. Her exchange with Jaqen H’gahr (Tom Wlaschiha) had me laughing the hardest I’ve laughed at the show in quite some time.
- Always nice to see Alan Taylor behind the camera.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Sound off in the comments below.