After a whirlwind debut that stunned audiences, Game of Thrones Season 2 ratcheted up the tension even further. Where do we start? The Kingdom is at war and an increasingly cruel Boy King sits on the Iron Throne. Tywin Lannister sends his son Tyrion to bring Joffrey to heel as Hand of the King. It does not go down well in the small council led by Cersei. Political dramas erupt as the truth about Jamie and Cersei is revealed.
Joffrey has his men slaughter all of Robert’s illegitimate children. That’s right, this Season 2 recap isn’t getting any prettier, it’s pretty much straight intrigue and murder from here on in. One, the blacksmith Gendry, escapes and finds himself travelling north to the Wall with a disguised Arya Stark. On Dragonstone the elder Baratheon Stannis lays claim to the Iron Throne and prepares for war. Tensions emerge between his advisers and new religious leader, the Red Woman. However he finds himself in competition for the throne with his younger brother Renly.
Robb defeats the Lannister army in more battles but his peace terms a rejected by Cersei. Knowing that the only way to capture King’s Landing is by the sea, the King in the North sends his late father’s ward, Theon Greyjoy, back to the Iron Islands. There here is treated as a traitor rather than an heir and falls under his father’s sway. Catelyn Stark travels to convince Renly (who is preparing to meet Stannis in battle) to join Robb’s war. But a ghostly figure, born of the Red Woman’s dark magic, kills him. Here we see an example of George R R Martin’s penchant for killing characters as soon as you form an emotional connection with them.
In the north, a party of the Night’s Watch travel beyond the wall to hunt a wildling army. Jon discovers that a neutral-wildling Crastor has been sacrificing his children to the White Walkers. With the few remnants of her Dothraki army, Dany travels through the Red Waste and seeks refuge in the mysterious oasis city of Qarth.
At the insistence of his sister Yara and father Balon, Theon rejoins the Greyjoys and makes plans to attack the North. While in the capital Tyrion is busy trying to loosen his sister Cersei’s control over the kingdom, earning him her ire. Joffrey continues to abuse Sansa for her brother’s battlefield success and is increasingly showing his brutality.
Arya and Gendry are taken prisoner at the castle of Harrenhal. They just avoid a painful death by Lannister bannermen torturers. Tywin Lannister arrives at the castle and stops the attrocities. He unwittingly takes Arya Stark (who is still hiding as a boy) as a server. A man who Arya saved from certain death reveals himself as a Faceless Man, one of the best assassins in the world.
Stannis prepares to sail on King’s Landing as Renly’s forces bent the knee after his assassination. The blame fell on Catelyn and a female knight Brienne of Tarth, who escape together. Renly’s wife Margaery Tyrell returns to Highgarden with her knights. In the north Theon attacks and takes Winterfell from his former custodians but fails to capture the remaining Starks, Rickon and Bran.
The starving citizens of King’s Landing riot against King Joffrey, many are killed in the attempt on his life and Sansa is nearly raped. The brutal and deadly Sandor Clegane saves her (the same Clegane whose brother Gregor is the primary henchman for the Lannisters).
Jon Snow takes a a female wilding prisoner, although they are split up from his party and she leads him into a trap, he is taken to the King beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder.
Jaime tries to escape from Robb’s army and kills a guard, splitting the camp down the middle over the appropriate punishment. To avoid the men killing Jaime, Catelyn secretly frees Jamie and sends him to King’s Landing with Brienne so that he may release Sansa. Dany finds out wizards in Qarth have stolen her dragons and goes to retrieve them, but not before receiving a foreboding prophecy.
Stannis attacks King’s Landing with his fleet but cunning Tyrion’s widlfire plot destroys much of his fleet. They attack on land and breach the city walls. But before a total defeat (Cersei has locked herself in the Throne Room and is preparing to kill her children), Tywin’s forces arrive alongside the Highgarden knights. This is the most epic battle of GOT Season 2, so enjoy this.
After the battle, Stannis retreats and Joffrey decides to marry Margaery Tyrell instead of Sansa. Arya is given a precious gift by the Faceless Man and the remaining Stark children venture further north with the wildling Osha and the servant Hodor. Theon is abandoned by his men in Winterfell who torch the keep. A wily Nights Watch leader is taken captive; he instructs Jon to kill him in order to win the trust of Mance Rayder. Rayder has united all the wildling tribes to try and cross the Wall for fear of the White Walkers. An army of white walkers and wights attack the rest of the Night’s Watch party. Creepy. That’s it for our recap of Season 2!
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