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Game of Thrones Pre-Premier Recap Bonanza

As the insanely anticipated third season of HBO’s Game of Thrones looms tantalizingly on the horizon, we thought it would be great to relive some of the moments, characters, and general awesomeness of the first two seasons that made us fall in love with this most epic of television productions. There are rampant spoilers within this article, so in the unlikely event that you are reading this without being caught up or somehow have never seen an episode, you should stop reading now if you don’t want all the fun taken away from your viewing experience. Without further adieu!

Top 5 Best Characters

Ethan’s Picks

5.) Jon Snow

The bastard of House Stark is without a doubt one of the most internally conflicted characters on the show. His upbringing at the hands of his father, Ned Stark, has instilled in him an unshakeable sense of justice and honor that cannot be stifled even in the harshest and snowiest drifts of the uncharted territory beyond the Wall. This strong sense of honor is constantly at ends with Snow’s inner turmoil brought on by being the result of an adulterous affair between his father and a prostitute. Jon joins the Night’s Watch as a way to salvage a sense of belonging in a world where bastards are berated and shamed. His very personality is contradictory to the brutal world around him, and can be witnessed in scenes such as when Sam is being tormented for his cowardice in training, and Snow is the only character who will stick up for him.

4.) Jaime Lannister

Easily my favorite villain. Jaime is such an overt and unapologetic douchebag that you almost have to respect him. His dirty tactics lead to the capture and eventual execution of Ned Stark, he coldly murders a young admirer who once squired for him to escape imprisonment within Robb Stark’s camp, he murdered the person that he was entrusted to always protect, and his love of incest spawned the worst and most hated character perhaps in all of television history. However he possesses a slick tongue and commands the screen when he is on it. You are supposed to hate Jaime, and he plays to this role extremely well.

3.) Bronn

The foul-mouthed, highly skilled mercenary provides some of the shows funniest lines, such as “Give me ten good men and some climbing spikes. I’ll impregnate the bitch,” which he delivers after hearing that a fortress where Tyrion is being taken is supposedly impossible to siege. Bronn also has an incredibly sharp and opportunistic mind that allows him to befriend and employ the services of the aforementioned Tyrion, giving him substantial power within King’s Landing as Commander of the City Watch while Tyrion serves as Hand of the King. Bronn also sets off the wild fire explosion at the Battle of Blackwater Bay in one of the best scenes in the series thus far with an absolute snipe of a fire arrow shot.

2.) Arya Stark

I cannot understate how incredible this is for me to have a child character be my second favorite character in anything. Outside of the Ender’s Game universe, where children are purposefully portrayed with adult personalities and responsibilities, children characters almost exclusively bum me out and make me want to take candy from babies. Arya, however, is one of the most mature, level-headed, intellectual and downright fun characters on Game of Thrones. Her scenes with her father are touching, her sisterly scrapes with Sansa adorable, her interactions with Tywin as his unidentified cupbearer are among my favorite scenes in the series. She possesses the smarts and sense of honor that all of Ned Stark’s children possess, making her an unlikely source of positivity in a harsh and hateful world. She also has more kills than Joffrey, because even little girls have more balls than Joffrey.

1.) Tyrion Lannister

This was probably expected. I’m not exactly going outside of the realm of normality by proposing that The Imp is the most entertaining and intriguing character in Game of Thrones. His wit and charm are unmatched by men twice his height and might, he lays devastating verbal smackdowns on the regular, he leads a charge against invading forces despite being too small to use a sword, he trolls everyone with his superior intelligence and uses his obvious disadvantages to his advantage. Although he often despises how his relatives act and treat him, Tyrion is still incredibly loyal to his family, which is respectable. However this respect stops at Joffrey, who he bitch slaps physically and verbally multiple times to the cheers of every fan ever. His quotable quotes are too numerous to mention, and his ability to squeak out of danger and wind up right back in a position of power is commendable. A world traveler, lover of drink and bacon and women, a morally straight-ish benevolent in a family of utter sewer garbage, Tyrion is simply the best and most unpredictable character in the show.

Colleen’s Picks

5.) Renly Baratheon

What can be said about Renly? He is the most fabulous of all the Baratheons (not that there was much competition there). Well liked, handsome, and charming to boot, what more could anyone want in a potential king? Perhaps one of his more touching features is his love for Ser Loras Tyrell, Lord of the Flowers. In show with so many questionable relationships, it’s a breath of fresh air to see two characters that are so obviously in love with each other. Let’s not forget, unlike many, is willing to accept people based on skill and not less significant factors. Point and case, his offering Brienne of Tarth the opportunity to serve on his Rainbow Guard, in spite of her gender.

4.) Jon Snow

He’s the underdog of the show, or under-direwolf, if you will. It’s hard not to feel bad for the guy. Since the day he was brought to Winterfell, he’s been nothing more than Ned Stark’s bastard son and drawn the resentment of Catelyn Stark. Regardless, he never becomes embittered or hostile, as many in that situation would. In fact, he builds close bonds with his siblings. Remember when he gave Arya Needle, probably the most precious moment in the entire series. And what does the bastard son of a Lord do? Rather than staying at Winterfell and living out his life in luxury (if not honor), he goes off and joins the Night’s Watch. He finds a calling for himself, and although it looks like the show may take him in a direction different from that, it is interesting to see what changes of character, if any, will his character have when more obstacles come to pass.

3.) Robb Stark

A man driven by rage, loyalty, and family bonds, it’s great to watch where he’s headed. At times, his actions are well thought out and reflective of his leadership potential, and other times can be entirely impulsive. He did, out of the rage of his father’s death and holding of his sister’s, declared himself King in the North. Impulsive, yes, but from here, he led his army with precision and expertise, in spite of his lack of real combat experience. He did so well, he even captured Jamie Lannister, the so called Kingslayer. And yet, as he makes progress south to King’s Landing, he also makes promises he soon does not keep. (Remember that rushed marriage? That’s probably going to come back to haunt him.)

2.) Arya Stark

In a show where just about everyone is vying to be king, it’s interesting to see how such a young girl thrust into the middle of it reacts. Unlike her sister, the passive Sansa, Arya is willing to fight back. She remains fearless and driven in extreme circumstances. And let’s not forget, she’s a lot more clever than the majority of the show’s characters. Forced to grow up in so short a period of time, she has managed to stay alive, relatively unscathed at that. Not to mention, it’s kind of adorable to watch her grapple with growing up matters in the midst of everything. Her blossoming crush on Gendry is too cute for words. Her character gives the producers something to work with, having to balance the everything that’s happened to her and still letting her be a kid.

1.) Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen, Mother of Dragons

Daenerys is the only potential queen…sorry, Khaleesi, worth rooting for. Aside from being drop dead gorgeous, she’s also had to overcome a lot and forge her own independence to get anywhere. Growing up under her domineering and abusive brother, Viserys, and later having to be the wife of a man who showed no respect for her couldn’t have been easy. Okay, and for some reason, her husband and her managed to grow in their relationship, but I won’t get into all the ways their relationship is warped here. It was only after Daenerys realized that she’d have to believe in herself, that it became clear that she may have a right to the throne. She showed fearlessness and confidence, and literally walked into fire. When she arose, a better Daenerys came out. One that people could be proud to follow. Now, she is not willing to take the easy way out, such as marrying Xaro Xhoan Daxos and allowing him to buy her an army. Plus, you know, she is the mother of dragons, and that has to count for something.

Top 5 Worst Characters

Ethan’s Picks

5.) Sansa Stark

One of the most maddening characters in the show. I utterly despise Sansa because she is the kind of stupid that not only fucks up her own life, she drags others down with her. Her pretentious and vain attitude about becoming royalty leads her to fall for Joffrey, like actually fall in love with him. This most insane type of crazy leads to her lying on Joffrey’s behalf when Arya beats him like the little bitch he is and tosses his sword into a river. This lie results in Ned Stark killing a dire wolf to please the king and his lecherous wife who demanded blood for her wimpy little failed abortion’s boo boos. She then redeems herself by becoming a willful domestic abuse victim after being given two golden opportunities to leave her “beloved,” abusive and insane husband. Seriously, fuck you Sansa.

4.) Robert Boratheon

Some might be surprised to see the late king on this list, but I don’t see any way that the fat man can be seen in a positive light. The only times we get to see him, Robert proves he is a selfish, oafish, incapable king who commands neither respect nor an understanding of the phrase “no thank you, I’m full.” He is oblivious to the fact that his “son” who looks nothing like him or anyone in his lineage is the result of incest, and he’s killed by a goddamn boar in the most anticlimactic off screen event in the show.

3.) Cersei Lannister

This kind of goes without saying. She’s the personification of the word “seepage.” A character that Regina George would describe as “a tad cunty,” Cersei served as queen before her aforementioned husband Robert is bad touched by a boar’s tusk. She birthed the wretched anal prolapse that is Joffrey, and wipes his stupid nose while encouraging his evilness every step of the way. She is absolutely deplorable and I wish her to be sodomized to death by a White Walker. And I’m not sorry.

2.) Theon Grayjoy

It didn’t have to be this way Theon. Initially a rather benign and unimportant aide to the Stark family, Theon goes full retard once Ned is captured and everyone starts playing war games. Theon has an inferiority complex so large that he attempts to murder the two youngest Stark boys (and settles for killing two random kids to keep his “image” up) just to prove he wears big boy underwear. This is after an ill-fated attempt at conquering the North starting with Winterfell, fingerbanging his sister, and returning to a dad that abandoned him as a child and expecting a warm welcome. Theon will in all likelihood wind up impaled on somebody’s blade (there are plenty who would take the honor), and nobody will be sad.

1.) Joffrey – You’re welcome.

Colleen’s picks

5.) Khal Drogo

It surprises me how many people seem to like this character. I just cannot get over the countless times he raped his wife, and pretty much treated her like a slave. Granted, they (somehow?) managed to move on from this, and fall in “love”, but his ethics are completely skewed. After all, he does let his men rape and pillage as they conquer. And let’s face it, he’s no leader, he’d just the strongest person, and that’s the only reason why he is a Khal.

4.)  Melisandre

I’m still not sure what her end goal is. To be queen? Who gives birth to shadow monsters? Not only is she probably evil, but her character is boring and underdeveloped. Does anyone even like her? Other than Stannis? And I’m not convinced he even likes her.

3.) Viserys Targaryen

Does one like a whiny, entitled weakling? He literally traded his sister for the chance at a crown. One which he inevitably got…kind of. His deluded sense of worth got old quickly. I mean, who honestly calls himself the last dragon? And, okay, to be fair, just about every male on the show with even a tiny claim to the Iron Throne, is making it. But, he made no effort to prove he deserved it. Where were his followers? He wasn’t even trying to gather any, instead, expecting Khal Drogo to gather him an army. At the end of the day, he was just an older and slightly creepier version of Joffrey.

2.) Cersei Lannister

Remember in Beowulf, when Grendel is the most disgusting, vile creature imaginable? Until you meet his mother? That’s my immediate association of Cersei and her evil spawn, Joffrey. She is a bully with virtually no morals. Remember in the first episode, where she has her brother push a small child out of a window because he caught them having sex? What is more appalling, the incest, or disregard for life? This woman, who claims so often to be protecting her own children, cares nothing for those of others. Some of her other worst moments? She spends months on end picking on Sansa. Who can forget her little woman to woman chat with Catelyn, while in Bran’s sick room, completely ignoring the fact that she is the reason he’s there. And, oh right, her hand in imprisoning Ned…leading to his death.

1.) Theon Greyjoy

What is dead will never die…but if there is a character who no one would shed tears over dying, it would be this sea urchin. He hung peasant children, to make people think he’d killed the Stark ones. Too scared perhaps to bring the wrath of Robb upon him, and yet still scared to disappoint daddy. You know, that guy that practically disowned him. It’s kind of pathetic when your sister has bigger balls than you. You’d think he’d have felt them when he shoved his hand down her pants. The fact is, he just has zero appeal, and no evident redeeming qualities.

Most Shocking Twist

Ethan’ Pick

Ned Stark’s death. Without a doubt one of the most “wtf” moments I’ve had while watching a television show. The entire time I was waiting for something to happen, something to stop the entire event from occurring. Even as the executioner began to swing his sword I was waiting for the “STOP” to ring out from somewhere in the crowd that would set off the chaotic escape scene. It never came. Instead all we heard was the haunting sound of the lead protagonist being undeniably and irreversibly killed. This moment solidified my opinions on Game of Thrones. It is a show where no character is safe, no matter how many lines you get and no matter how much of a protagonist you are.

Colleen’s Pick

Dragons. Dragons. Dragons. I mean, I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but three adorable little baby dragons were not on the radar. The whole scene made it obvious that ANYTHING could happen on this show. There were no boundaries that couldn’t be crossed. Plus, it took Daenerys’ quest for the throne to a more legitimate level. Before hand, it seemed a little ridiculous to think that a ragtag group across the narrow sea, with no boats, would pose much of a threat. Now, it seems as if she may be able to get the Iron Throne, with fire and blood, as she’s threatened.

Favorite Scene

Ethan’s Pick

It’s hard to top the Battle of the Blackwater. The wild fire explosion was literally awesome, I stared with mouth agape as Stannis’ fleet was obliterated to splinters in the sputtering sea. Tyrion’s inspired speech to his men after King Pee Stain flees the front lines when his mommy calls for him ranks among one of the best speeches in the series. The battle scenes are masterfully shot, fully capturing the horrid nature and bewildering confusion of hand to hand medieval combat. Tyrion gets his first real taste of battle in this scene, and although he fights bravely he is struck down by a blow to the face. The one bone I can pick with the scene is how Stannis is able to climb up a siege ladder unobstructed and land on a part of the fortifications guarded only by two inept soldiers, only to be able to scoot away without issue when he realizes he has lost the battle.

Colleen’s Pick

It’s hard to pick a favorite scene, so here are a few in short. When Arya starts ‘dance’ lessons, giving us the best phrase from the show. What do we say to the god of death? Not today. And how can anyone forget the birth of the shadow demon from Melisandre, and subsequent death of Renly. And perhaps one of the most impactful scenes of all, the death of Ned Stark, and having to see his young daughters witness it. But these are just a few of the great scenes in a show where every scene matters.

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