Maisie Williams as Arya Stark
I’ve written a book about this episode. But I felt like there was so much I wanted to say. I’m not sure if this was my favorite episode of the season (the last few weeks have been fantastic), but there’s no denying the excitement caused by the mere fact that George R.R. Martin himself wrote the screenplay for this hour. I imagine that opportunity was almost like a way to write “alternate scenes” or to change things GRRM may have thought he would have done a different way after having nearly 15 years to ponder his work (A Game of Thrones was first published in August 1996). For that reason, a lot of what I discuss demonstrates the differences between the text and show.
*This review contains spoilers for Episode 8 of Game of Thrones as well as the first four A Song of Ice and Fire books. Please proceed with caution.*
Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, with her direwolf Lady, in HBO's Game of Thrones.
*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.