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5th June 2012 12:38:00
Posted by Nick Bryan

Valar Morghulis

Review of Game of Thrones: Valar Morghulis from HBO and Sky Atlantic.
This is it! The finale! The climax! The end of Game of Thrones season 2! Except, much like last season, they had the big fight scene in the penultimate week, and the final episode itself is mostly epilogues, reminders and teasers for next year.

But we get a few big developments, so let’s take a look nonetheless. And since it’s finally all over, maybe time for a few sweeping statements as well.

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The Danerys in Qarth storyline ends, and exactly the way you were probably expecting. About the only surprise was that she finally did something, rather than giving another “I am Stormborn and my blood is made of leopards!” speech. Admittedly, her big sequence mostly reminds us that they blew the effects budget on last week’s royal rumble.

Meanwhile, up in the white mountains, Jon Snow appears to be bonding with the natives. To be honest, this season hasn’t done as good a job of servicing characters off on their own, like Jon and Danerys. Whenever we cut away to them, I’m itching to get back to the Winterfell/King’s Landing drama.

Settings which are on good form this week. King Joffrey, the biggest nob in the Seven Kingdoms, finally takes a wife, in a way that reconciles most of those Littlefinger scenes dotted around the season, whilst poor Tyrion faces being forced out of the game by his father’s return. Considering how imp-heavy the last episode was, it’s no surprise that he’s quite light this week, but Dinklage does good work with what he has.

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And, last big development really, Winterfell is torched and poor Theon finally exhausts his troops’ patience. Amazed it took this long, and he did have two of the best scenes this week, one for emotional content and the other for black comedy. Although the latter was a bit of an anti-climax after all this time, but it was genuinely funny and still some kind of ending.

There are other scenes scattering characters off in new directions, most of which will probably be picked up next year – Robb Stark marries his medicine woman, having done almost nothing else – but that’s the meat of it.

Thinking back briefly on the season as a whole... I think there were more weak parts than last year, a few major characters who felt like they were having very thin tangential plots stretched over long periods (Danerys, Jon and Robb mostly), but the main thrust of the story was still very engaging. There’s no risk of me not watching Game of Thrones season 3, let’s put it that way.

Game Of Thrones airs on Mondays at 9PM on Sky Atlantic. More details on their official site.