The first season of Game of Thrones ended with most of the characters facing dire circumstances, and Sunday night’s Season 2 premiere just cements Westeros’ reputation as a place where bad things happen to all people. Joffrey – a boss from hell whose mandatory birthday party features his employees fighting each other to the death – has only found new ways to abuse his power to the detriment of his entire family. Daenerys has traded in a curse-throwing blood witch for a pack of dragons that refuse to eat (this is momentarily convenient, however, as Dany leads her starving people across a sweltering wasteland). Even Jon Snow, who gave up the height of Northern luxury to freeze at Castle Black last year, has found a way to double down on discomfort by moving in with an incestuous wildling named Craster, who thinks Snow is “prettier than half my wives.”
It seems, in fact, that Tyrion might be the only person in all of Westeros who’s on an upswing. He at least makes his triumphant return to King’s Landing, which series creator D.B. Weiss discusses in HBO GO’s Interactive Viewing Experience. The dwarf was sent by his father with the job of preventing any more improvisational beheadings, but as David Sims points out on AVClub.com, Tyrion may want to leave the ending sequence of “The North Remembers” off his resume.
Over at Televisionary.com, Lace Jacobs observes that this episode is all about the nature of power and where it resides – whether in “The knowledge of a wise man? The sword of a warrior? The magnanimity of a king?” For now, at least, the answer is frighteningly simple: All over the freakin’ place.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss go Inside the Episode: