Game of Thrones · HBO · NIU

The North Remembers

As week five begins, so does another season of Game of Thrones. Season two premiered in 2012 and brings on many new characters and religions that the viewer had only been introduced in passing. Season two begins with Joffrey performing excruciating acts of torture, a very broken down Mother of Dragons, and even more betrayal.

NorthRemembers

This week’s blog covers:

S2 Ep 1: “The North Remembers”

S2 Ep 2: “The Night Lands”

S2 Ep 3: “What is Dead May Never Die”

This Week’s Highlight(s):

This week, it goes to none other than Tyrion Lannister who once again proved, his cunning and intelligence are his greatest strengths. In “What is Dead May Never Die”, we see Tyrion Lannister use a technique utilized commonly by intelligence agencies called the barium meal test. This works to expose whom the “double agent” is within the small council. By “leaking” elementally different pieces of information to various sources, Tyrion can track the where Cersei gets her information. Tyrion tells various lies to Maester Pycelle, Varys, and Baelish about Princess Myrcella’s marriage arrangements. He discovers that Maester Pycelle has leaked his information to Cersei. The consequences of this discovery are drastic to Maester Pycelle and extremely fitting. He will rot in a black cell and Tyrion gets a one up on his sister, Cersei.

 

This Week’s Lowlife(s):

 

Someone who will never be a stranger to this weekly section: Joffrey Baratheon. His reign of terror and torture has officially begun. He not only uses his twisted wrath against those around him, he even begins to torture commoners and demands the execution of the late King Robert’s bastard children, including the execution of a baby at Baelish’s brothel. Although this scene, in “The Night Lands” does not explicitly show the murder of the baby, it is one of the most disturbing of the series, to say the very least.

Another lowlife that I must mention this week is Theon Greyjoy. Having just pledged loyalty to the Stark family as a brother, to betray them so quickly and easily is heartbreaking. We’ll see many examples of this level of betrayal again and again, but this one just hurts and deserved my recognition.

 

Thought Provoking Theme(s):

 

Religion comes back into play in the beginning of season two. Not only do we have the old Gods vs. the new Gods, we now have introductions to the Drowned God, in which the Greyjoys believe in, and the Lord of Light, R’hllor, in which Melisandre has introduced to Stannis Baratheon from the Free Cities. In “The North Remembers”, Stannis denounces his faith in the Gods of the Seven in a most sacrilegious way. Melisandre burns the statues and Stannis pulls a sword engulfed in flame. We will discover whether Stannis has made a wise decision in betraying his faith for another. These religions will add much to the series and provide distinction between the families that fight for the Iron Throne.

 

The most important theme this week is that of power. While this is a continuous theme throughout the entire series, I feel that it is of most importance to break down this theme for this week’s blog. Cersei believes that she still has the utmost power in the kingdom. Due to Cersei becoming Queen Regent and Joffrey’s desire for power growing immensely since his father’s death, her power diminishes. This is solidified when Joffrey threatens his own mother’s life when she slaps him.

In turn, Cersei exerts power over Baelish and Sansa to regain what she has lost. In “The North Remembers”, Baelish claims that knowledge is power, in reference to his knowledge of Cersei’s incestuous relationship. In turn, Cersei reestablishes her power by having her guards almost kill Baelish. Cersei simply states, “power is power.”

Cersei also attempts to maintain power over Sansa at a dinner with her two youngest children, Tommen and Myrcella. Cersei maintains that although the Starks are at war with the Lannister’s, Sansa will fulfill her duty as the soon to be wife of Joffrey. This results in Sansa’s eventual power trip over Shae, her new handmaiden. This struggle to maintain and even regain power is very important. The seeking of power and displacement of anger is what continuously shifts the narrative throughout.

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10 thoughts on “The North Remembers

  1. I’m going to make a stand for his grace, King Joffrey, and suggest that he is not guilty of murdering King Robert’s bastard children.

    I’m pretty sure Cersei did. Because she lets Tyrion think it was Joffrey. If Joffrey was guilty, Cersei would be more likely to implicate… oh… Littlefinger instead. I think Cersei’s the culprit.

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  2. It seems like Cersei’s comment about “power is power” exposes some of her denial about how things are going. It is in the following episodes that Tyrion undermines her even further in addition to what Joffrey and Baelish have already done. Whether knowledge is power or power is power, Cersei is quickly discovering she has neither.

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  3. Again, I love that you bring up production notes and other such neat insights. This week you gave us the barium meal test, which I didn’t know about! Anyway, it’s interesting that Cersei does seem to be wrestling with a loss and gain of power. Her dinner table discussion is one way for her to exert power, and it happens to be over Sansa. She pretty much always has power over Sansa, unless Joffrey steps in…

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  4. Two things, first what with the “Drowned God”? If I am going to have a God I want one that can swim. Second, I agree that Sansa was a little uppity with Shae, but come on, Shae doesn’t have a clue how to do these things–she needs to watch Downton Abbey.
    Weird that Cersei takes such an interest in Sansa, I think she’s projecting some of her own history onto the girl, although she doesn’t seem to in any way want to alter the outcome. I’m also in the camp that thinks Joffrey is too immature to figure out that you need to kill all the available bastards to solidify your claim on the throne. Somebody had to be whispering in his ear, but there are so many ellipses in this show.

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  5. You’d think in a medieval-esque universe that shear numbers would signify power but that just isn’t the case. Renly has the most available troops yet it just seems that he isn’t capable of leading them.

    To me, the characters with the most power are able to make rational decisions that aren’t reactionary. They are able to remove themselves from the situation and see the larger scope of things.

    I’m paying attention to how characters like Stannis switch from more calculated to more irrational and vice versa with a character like Arya who gets emotional often in the first season but is able to pull it back as early as episode 3 of season 2.

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  6. I have to say that I really enjoy your highlight(s) and low lifes. I agree with the people that you have picked for these positions, but I would like to suggest possibly adding Margaery. She is willing to do anything that she can to make sure that her beloved Renly will be sitting upon the iron throne. I found her role in all of this interesting and definitely a highlight this week to me.

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  7. Tyrion will always and forever be my favorite character in this series, and this baller move by him is one of my favorites. He plays people who aren’t easily played, by giving them all what they think they want. It’s a masterful move, and one of the reasons I think Tyrion would actually be the best ruler of the seven kingdoms (that and he has some actual morals, unlike some people *cough cough* Baelish *cough cough*). Tyrion’s power lies in his wit, and places that let him use his wit to his advantage give him a lot of power over others who are equally good at other aspects of the “game.”

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  8. I really like how you mentioned the tension of “old gods” and “new gods.” This was another gneral connection between Game of Thrones and Celtic mythology that I noticed. Celtic mythology refers to the old gods (pagan polytheism) and the new gods (Christianity).

    It was said that the old gods were reduced to monster-like characters when the people left the old gods for the new gods and stopped believing in the old gods. Since historical and mythological elements are in the show, it seems like Game of Thrones is providing a unique depiction of this tension of old gods vs. new gods.

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