You’ve been waiting eight long months to watch episodes of Game of Thrones Season 3, and now premiere night is almost here. But before the new season kicks off on March 31, take a minute to catch up on the story so far with the Game of Thrones Viewer’s Guide – an immersive animated experience that will walk you through the ups and downs of the last season and remind you all over again why you can’t wait for the next installment.
Entries in season 2 (21)
As the ‘Game of Thrones’ scripts are written, a story comes together on the page. Then the directors form a vision of how they want to tell that story on screen, which is when the storyboard artist comes into play. Working from the script and discussions with the director and DOP, the artist – in this case the amazingly talented Will Simpson – brings the first images to life. He will draw a series of frames that depict the action within a scene, indicating camera angle and focus and plotting out the order of the sequence.
The storyboards will be sent to all the department heads to work from, a map, if you will, of what is to come. Each director will use them differently; some will have the sequence pinned to boards while they shoot, crossing off frames as they are completed. Others will insert them into their scripts, as illustrations to accompany the words. There is no one set of storyboards, they evolve as the scripts do, with Will redrawing whole scenes or just single frames as the director makes changes or the scripts are adjusted.
When the Season 2 DVDs come out in February, they will include ‘Histories’ illustrated by Will. These extras provide a chance to explore the story and characters in more depth, to go into detail that the show can’t always delve into with so much happening every season. They explain how the Kingdom of Westeros came to be, the families and feuds that feed the wars and legends of things that lie out of sight, ready to be discovered again. Much as the storyboards help structure the episodes, these animations help tell the stories of the Kingdoms – and what lies beyond its borders.
Sunday's episode of 'Game of Thrones' might as well have been dedicated to the Father of the Faith of the Seven. The prevailing focus of the night was very much the show's paternal figures. Theon Greyjoy makes it back home to Pyke after nearly a decade away, but the only living son of Balon Greyjoy is rejected by his father for having gone soft (and humiliated by his sister for not realizing who she is when he puts the moves on her). But at least Theon has a dad: On the Kingsroad, Arya Stark’s only way to feel close to Ned is reminiscing with Gendry about the time he was interrogated by the Hand of the King. And far, far to the north, Jon Snow is still getting the cold shoulder from his stand-in father figure Lord Commander Mormont for mouthing off in front of Craster, who’s officially the worst dad in Westeros. Jon makes the bad situation even worse by trying to investigate what happens to Craster's sons, and gets clubbed on the head for his troubles.
Even those without children had their heartstrings tugged. Littlefinger tries to comfort Ros as she mourns for baby Barra – by reminding her she is an investment that can be recouped in any number of perverse ways. Over on Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon falls for the oldest line in the book when his in-house religious advisor/ ginger priestess drops her robe and promises him a son. As if having forsaken his own faith isn't enough, Stannis has now completely surrendered himself to the Lord of Light.
Of the Seven, the Father represents justice. Here's hoping that's still around the corner for this motley group.
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: