‘Game of Thrones’ Season 3, Episode 2 Review – He’s a Monster

Published 2 years ago by , Updated April 8th, 2013 at 6:20 am,

Joe Dempsie Maise Williams and Ben Hawkey in Game of Thrones Dark Wings Dark Words Game of Thrones Season 3, Episode 2 Review – Hes a Monster

As Game of Thrones has so bluntly pointed out, the world of Westeros is not the kind of place where strangers typically offer a kind word, a helping hand or anything else for that matter, without some kind of price attached.

Most of the time, anything remotely approaching goodwill comes with the stipulation of a debt to be repaid at some later date, begging the question: Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned generosity?

So, naturally, it comes as no surprise when several of the Stark children receive a visitor or a stranger whose words don’t end in “your head on a pike” that they’re more than a little skeptical. Ever since their father Ned (permanently) relocated to King’s Landing, the world as they’ve known it has become a veritable hotbed of antagonistic behavior and people with colorful and descriptive names either trying to manipulate or kill them.

As if sensing the temperament of Bran, Sansa, Arya and, to a lesser degree, Rickon (but he seems okay to have the direwolves look after him), those who would seek audience with the Stark kids each take a different approach, with varying degrees of success, in order to offer some form of aid to the youngsters.

Once you factor in the amount of new faces that kind of look and sound like all of the old faces, it’s plain to see why Weiss and Benioff held back from checking in with every single surviving Stark in last week’s season premiere. Normally, when shows introduce new characters, it’s a sign things have taken a creative downturn, but thankfully, that’s not the case with Game of Thrones.

Natalie Dormer and Jack Gleeson in Game of Thrones Dark Wings Dark Words Game of Thrones Season 3, Episode 2 Review – Hes a Monster

For starters, the series isn’t just introducing new characters – it’s carting them in from all seven kingdoms by the barrelful. Moreover, with a storyline as occasionally discursive as this, such additions become a necessity, and they allow for wonderful actors like Ciáran Hinds and Mackenzie Crook to hop on board and add a little spice to the otherwise chilly world beyond the Wall that so far has been moderately seasoned with Jon Snow’s pouty good looks and the sass of Ygritte.

But Orell’s white-eyed vision of dead crows is only a small aspect of a broad, but surprisingly thematically fixed second episode. ‘Dark Wings, Dark Words’ has to move as many (if not more) pieces around than ‘Valar Dohaeris,’ but there’s more sense that this portion of the journey is setting up elements that will truly impact the major players. Aside from brief glimpses at Robb’s decision to head off toward Riverrun to honor yet another dead relative and a rather grim assessment of Theon’s current circumstances, the episode primarily concerns itself with the worrisome notion of aid from heretofore unknown persons.

Plied with lemon cake and the prospect of some “real talk” in the company of cheese-loving Olenna Tyrell, Sansa’s asked to give her honest impression of Joffrey – under the proviso that whatever she says will remain strictly confidential. For her part, Sansa is understandably more eager to inform the Tyrell women the kind of man Joffrey is than to dig into any treat. Besides, given the choice between a tasty little cake and the opportunity to unburden herself to a pair of savvy women, Sansa is clearly more inclined to choose the latter.

And while the Tyrells are pursuing this line of questioning less out of concern for the well-being of Sansa and more to ensure they know precisely what they’re dealing with (“he’s a monster,” obviously), Sansa can still count on Shae to be in her corner.

Gwendoline Christie and Nikolaj Coster Waldau in Game of Thrones Dark Wings Dark Words Game of Thrones Season 3, Episode 2 Review – Hes a Monster

Most interestingly, however, are the other Starks who are simultaneously en route to the Wall. Before they can get to the bottom of Arya’s questionable targets for assassination, the trio (including Gendry and Hot Pie) find themselves in the questionable company of the Brotherhood without Banners. And while they utilize a similar technique to the Tyrells in acquiring the information they seek, it’s not until the Hound locks eyes with Arya that the Brotherhood knows exactly what they’ve stumbled upon.

Things are clearer for Bran, as his portentous dreams continue to become more prevalent and even invite the presence of Liam Neeson’s stepson from Love Actually. But the arrival of Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Jojen Reed is more significant that the questions of “where do I know his face?” would suggest. Jojen’s insistence that he and Bran share a more-common-than-you-might-think ability is coupled with an offer of aid and some much-needed insight into Bran’s burgeoning talent.

All in all, it goes to show that even in Game of Thrones, there comes a time when help can come to those who need it most. Whether or not that message will get through to Brienne and Jaime Lannister before things go from bad to worse, however, remains to be seen.


Game of Thrones continues next Sunday with ‘Walk of Punishment’ @9pm on HBO. Check out a preview of the episode below:

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  1. Is it me or this episode was really boring ?
    I’m a huge fan of GOT but this start of season is really really slow.

    • If you recall (or if you have read the books), A Storm of Swords starts incredibly slow. I am not worried; the writers of the show, so far, are doing a wonderful job painting a picture containing the most important facts from the book. If you haven’t read the books, begin to grasp tightly to seat, because GoT (by the end of this season) is going to completely rock your world.

    • I agree. The season is really starting out slow. I really hope they don’t take the same route as all the other drama series out there and make the season drag with filter episodes up until the finale. I love GOT(TV series and the novels) but right now I am feeling pretty bummed about the pacing of the show.

      • A filter episode is an episode that doesn’t move the story forward, doesn’t introduce or set up anything new and contains nothing of relevance to the overall story.

        These first 2 episode’s have been great and the complete opposite to a filter episode so I don’t see how on earth you could be worried. For only 2 episodes quite a huge section of the novel has already been covered and the momentum has moved along quite more quickly than I expected.

        Daenary’s is already in Astapor checkin out the Unsullied and united with Barriston Selmy.(a voyage that took forever in the novels if I remember).
        Jon Snow is already a trusted member of Mance Rayders’s Wildlings.
        We’ve been introduced to Jojen and Meera Reed, Brans journey has been fleshed out more with the concept of Wargs and skinchangers.
        Davos has been rescued, travelled back to Dragonstone and is already being held captive by the Red Queen.
        Arya and co have already hooked up with Thoros of myr and the brotherhood, and now possibly The Hound.
        Robs whole army have already marched to and left Harrenhal behind with Roose Bolton in charge and now on their way to Riverrun for the funeral.
        The introduction to Ramsey Bolton and the faith of Theon.
        Littlefinger has been puttin plans together for Sansa leaving kings landing.
        Already introduced to Lady Oleanna and the set up for conflict between Cersai, Margaery and Joffrey.
        Breinne and Jamie have travelled south and look likely to be taken captive already.

        etc, etc, I’m sure I’ve forgotten and left certain things out, but all in all not bad for only 2 episodes. I think the pace of the show has been excellent so far and things are coming along nicely and only gonna get better.
        This show is a great Drama after all, a lack of fast quick action sequences or battles doesn’t necessarily mean boring or slow pace.

        • TOTALLY AGREE!!! How can anyone say boring? SO MUCH has happened already just as this viewer above has described. Every episode can’t be full of wildfire on the Blackwater, or tons of heads and bodies being slashed to death. this IS also a great drama, with TONS of characters whose stories have to be told in a tiny amount of time.

        • I agree as well. I can see why people think its going slow, but you’re right, so much has been brought forward, which is good. The small changes from the book are actually good, because even if you’ve read the books, some moments still throw you when they turn up sooner than expected (e.g.: the hound showing up so soon).

          Total faith in Benioff and Weiss, they’ve done a fantastic job of the other 2 seasons and this one is proving to be another great one already.

        • I think that is rather the point – a great deal has been compressed into a very short space of time and a number of the events in the novel have been glossed over to fit with the limitations of the media. I particularly disliked the way that Jojen and Meera Reed have been introduced, having been written out of the previous series. It feels like we are moving through scenes and events far too quickly. The net effect is that the story feels rushed and that is very difficult to relate to any one character. There is a loss of context and it’s all a little eccentric and unfulfilling, a sort of ADD-appropriate version of the novels. Perhaps it is just that familiarity breeds contempt, but I am not finding series three as interesting or engaging as the previous two series and I am starting to feel that the story is too complex for film. I’m not ready to give up on it yet but another episode like the last one and I might get there.

    • The first 2 episodes have been really boring
      I’m hoping it doesn’t carry on like this and we only get 1 or 2 exciting episodes a season

    • Agreed. The first two episodes so far have been very boring. Unfortunately like we cannot skip the boring sections or characters we don’t like with a tv show. I know in the books there are large sections where something involves random characters that apparently serve no purpose other then fill another 100 pages. I generally skipped those parts.

    • I completly agree. This season has started reallllly slow. For season 1 and two I felt episode 1 for both were absolutly amazing. This season opener was ok. 2nd episode was also just ok, I hate the fat kids character, just annoying. The most annoying person though is the fat guy in the nights watch, I wish he just died already. GOT season 1-2 were the best seasons of any tv show ever by far I have ever seen, this eason so far at least hasn’t lived up to that. Hope it improves.

  2. I really liked this episode! I thought Cat was awesome, the Queen of Thorns was awesome and Jojen and Meera were Awesome too! it didn’t need a huge battle to make it very intriguing and enjoyable.

    • Agreed, I really loved this episode, thought it was great. Good introduction to Ramsey Bolton and I really enjoyed the scenes with Catelyn Stark and Lady Olenna (Queen of Thorns). This show has some great acting and brilliant dialogue. It’s unfortunate that some people seem think a show needs constant action or battle scenes to be exciting or gripping.

      With such a vast amount of characters, new and old, along with back stories and landscapes to cover unfortunately its impossible for the series to show everyone every week, but I think it’s been great so far and things are getting set up nicely. Can’t wait for next weeks episode.

  3. Agreed. The start of the season always is the setup, and with a character count as dense as Game of Thrones, it is always a welcoming sight to see what they are all up to, most especially House Stark.

  4. I did feel it was odd not to visit all the characters in this episode. But, as the review said they were introducing new characters at this time to set up the season. I was hoping to see a continuation from last episode here with some of the characters but didn’t get that. The pace of this show is something to get used to. I think we’re all spoiled with shows that rush stories and lose quality with little room to expand. We’re slowly but surely also being introduced more so to the supernatural side of things. The giant in the first episode and now this worg being is intriguing. I love the game of throne universe and will stay tuned to see what else is to come.

  5. If you think these past episodes were slow then you’re probably watching the wrong show. This show isn’t about battles and fights, it’s about character development and story.

    I’ve enjoyed these past 2 episodes immensely, I look forward to seeing more.

    • Completely agree, the drama in this show is absolutely fascinating. Great characters and plot set ups along with brilliant acting and dialogue is what make it so entertaining. Really enjoyed the last 2 episodes. The character development is great to watch.

      Unfortunately for some people, they just need to see 200 scenes of a zombie gettin its head smashed in to be entertained.

    • YESSSS!!!!! Perfectly said!

      • I think this seasons gotten off to a great start, everythings being set up perfectly :) the people who thought it was boring and are annoyed about not seeing all the characters better get used to it though, because at this stage they cant fit every character into every episode, some people will be left out here and there

  6. After the action-packed episode that was Blackwater, you´d find everything slow. They are moving the chest pieces, give them time, you know it will pay off eventually.

  7. I get that some people may be a bit bored with the first two episodes. But, as a previous poster said, just wait…it’s about to get really good!

    • I know it “will get good” based on the novel events but I don’t want it to be like TWD where the majority of the season is a “set up” to a great season finale. I felt that way with Boardwalk Empire as well where the first 2-4 episodes were slow, then you get 1-2 great episode, another 1-2 filter episodes, then a great season finale. I guess I just had higher expectations for this season of GOT.

  8. The only thing keeping me watching the show is my love of the books. I can’t imagine watching this show without having read the books. I would be completely lost. It’s understandable for fans of the show to be frustrated with the pace when they don’t know where all the individual stories are leading.

  9. I can understand that some people may think these first two episodes have been a bit slow but when a show has this many characters you first have to set everything in motion before things get really going.
    It would be so confusing if we just went from battle to battle or death to death every episode so I actually like having the chance to get to know these characters (old & new) and to get an idea of where this might all lead. It makes the payoff even better.
    Think about everyone’s favorite episode ‘Blackwater’. I believe one of the reasons why it was so great is because we had almost 2 seasons to get to know these characters and what they were fighting for so we had a vested interest in the outcome. I haven’t read the 3rd book but based on the way the show has played out so far I’m pretty sure that the same thing will happen this season. With Game of Thrones the ends are always justified by the means.

    • Although I thought Blackwater was a great episode I felt the battle was short. They didn’t detail the battle enough so to make it an “epic” episode. I thought it was the best episode of the series but was it epic? No

      • Yes, it was epic actually. Especially since this is a TV show after all, a 50 minute long episode on TV. To detail the battle enough or do it exactly the way it’s described in the novel you’d need a Lord of the Rings size budget.

  10. Anyone think the guy helping Theon at the end is actually Ramsay Snow and not the hooded guy? He’s setting him up to escape and then capture him again I bet.

    • ah, good one. Didn’t even think of that, can’t wait for next week to find out

    • I did, but almost wished it wasn’t, even thought helping him escape to capture him again is indeed one of Ramsay’s favorite sport; though I always imagined Ramsay more monstrous looking. Iron-jawed with a sadistic overbite. Not like a stables squire.

      @DT; couldn’t be more true and accurate.

  11. also if you have read the series, the subsequent seasons are going to much slower as after the epic multi-climax of storm of swords, feast for crows is used to rebuild the fallen and lost characters

  12. OOOOH siiiiiiiick people trust me when i say this, that guy at the end was ramsay snow!!!!the BASTAAARD OF BOLTON, the writers are clever in writing him in like this becus, since he should have apperd a long time ago, there doing this so he can help theon excape and the capture him…people the bastart have finaly arrived, hopefuly the kid from skins can play the part. he alredy looks it

    • That would be a clever way to intro the Bastard. Theon is well on his way to becoming Reek.

      • Reek, Reek, his future rhymes with bleak…

  13. I’ve never read the books, but I’m a fan of the show. The pace is fine, IMO; the viewer just has to really understand history, character development, etc. I CAN’T W8 for the next episode; the suspense is driving me crazy! Unfortun8ly, I have to :-)….

  14. people complain about this season so slow and that is because GOT is about the political side and the royal sides of a fantasy history story. most (or every) fantasy stories has always been the point of view of a poor, a rebellion, or solider stories. which is why their point of view has a lot of battles from their stories. as a book reader, almost every character is from the royal side of a POV character. for years many, people who love fantasy have been spoiled of action, epic battles, and rebellions for years since LOTRs. GOT is new take of a different fantasy level. don’t get me wrong, i do love fantasy, but with GOT you need to make a commitment. so people, get use to the beginning slow and “nothing happening”, but don’t worry, it will get better. as a matter of fact from the first 2 episodes, the tv show has already given you half spoilers of what is to come, expect that most of you didn’t pay attention. Those half spoilers are right in your face and you don’t even know that they are. just wait and you’ll be like “wow” or “what the” face. i was like that when i read the 3rd book. half the answers were staring right in front of my face. it gets better and you people who complain will then view episode 1-2 as good set ups. also remember that season 3 is about half of the book of book 3. if you still find is slow, all i have to say is tough it and (recommended, but it’s your choice) read the 3rd book. i’m glad that i’ve read the 3rd book because i know what is come, why the beginning was slow, and not feeling lost. also one more thing about the fillers. to much fillers? this is westroes people! and in westroes, people lie a lot. can’t tell if they are telling the truth or not, because how else will they live? tell the truth? Ned tried that and suffer the consequences.

  15. Drogon is BLACK with RED. basically that’s danny’s favorite dragon. Rhaegal (don’t continue if you haven’t read book 3-5 yet) is GREEN with GOLD. and Viserion is like WHITE creamy. the reason why i’ve capitalize some of the words is because i think (two big theories will be talked, you’re WARNED) Tyrion might ride Rhaegal. see Tyrion has the one GREEN eye, and the common lannister physical trait is GOLDEN hair, even though his hair is lighter, but still yellow like. possible? i don’t know. And i think jon SNOW might ride Viserion (or maybe backwards because of the ViseRION and TyRION names have the same spelling at the end and that Viserion is GOLD and CREAMY, WHITE like, while tyrion sort of has that hair color of almost WHITE with touch of gold highlights). Viserion is mostly been called as the WHITE dragon. is it just me that i’m seeing this or did some of you already picked this up?

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