*This post contains spoilers for Episode 2 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. If you haven’t yet seen the episode, go watch it and then come back and read!
Last week, the first episode of Game of Thrones provided a foundation layer of exposition. The second episode, The Kingsroad, built upon last week’s setup and drove us further toward the series’ central plot.
Although the second half of the episode showcased a good amount of action, the first half was still very character-driven. Anyone who’s read A Game of Thrones knows the characterization is rich. However, for television, a good source book is not nearly enough. Great TV-from-literature requires world-class actors to breathe life into the pages, or else viewers will not believe what they see. Fortunately, Game of Thrones delivers this in certain abundance.