Game of Thrones

Season 2 Episode 9

Blackwater

45
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 27, 2012 on HBO
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (20)

8.8
out of 10
Average
556 votes
  • Blackwater

    8.0
    One of the best episodes yet of this show.



    This had about as much action as you could possibly hope for from this show, and it had good storytelling throughout the battle as well, not just nonsensical action.
  • Blackwater

    10
    This is epic storytelling at its finest
  • Not as good as so many people claim it to be, but definitely a stand-out episode for the show

    9.0
    In "Blackwater", Game of Thrones' typical style is radically changed, which starts with the fact that the usual handful of locations are narrowed down to only one, King's Landing. This is, of course, serving the purpose of the huge battle at Blackwater bay, which gives the episode its title. The main cast contracts pertinently and only 11 of the usual 25 are left something that on the other hand enhances the focus on those particular characters. Especially Tyrion, Cersei, and Sansa have more screen time than usual and guest writer George R. R. Martin, author of the show's source material, the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, includes a multitude of important character information into the cleverly written and grandly acted dialogs. However, it's unlikely the awkward conversations between Queen Regent Cersei and Queen to-be Sansa about the possibility of the latter getting raped by Stannis' troops, nor the entertaining fuck-everything-attitude of our canine friend in the King's Guard, Sandor Clegane, that audiences will remember about this episode. What happens in the last five scene of "Blackwater", with an absolutely stunning twist that will leave your mouth wide open during the whole ending credits, makes it a fan-favorite.



    But first things first: it actually takes the episode quite some time to gain momentum and not one scene in the first quarter of an hour was really something special. The looming fleets of Stannis Baratheon excited me and looked really good, yet I knew that this wasn't nearly the full potential of the show. Slowly but surely, one-time Game of Thrones director Neil Marshall manages to get the right mood on the screen and once Tyrion's sellsword Bronn lets loose of his fiery arrow in the direction of Stannis, the episode's mood varies dramatically. The following wildfire explosion is unbelievable, but the battle isn't over, it has just begun. Before we get to massive bloodshed in front of the Mud Gate, however, there's a cut to Cersei and Sansa, fifty-fifty voluntarily getting drunk in Maegor's Holdfast, where they are separated from the martial outside world.



    And then, in the second half of "Blackwater", an unforgettable battle commences, that is understandably small scale in comparison to cinema blockbusters, but includes umpteen awesome close-combat killings, fantastically realized by director Marshall. Much of the gore scenes, that made the show quite notorious for TV circumstances, are there as well and they are so artistically done that it's impossible to not have fun with it. But it wouldn't be Game of Thrones if the final scene weren't a jaw-dropping surprise. Lena Headey as Cersei is amazing in an extremely emotional finale that alternately shows her and her son Tommen in the Throne Room and Tyrion and Stannis on the battle field. All of this is almost too enthralling to watch and culminates in the arrival of Loras Tyrell. Remember, the audience doesn't know on which side he and his family are on at this point and that makes the scene with him entering the Red Keep one of the best moments in the whole show.



    "Blackwater" is undeniably one of the most rememberable Game of Thrones episodes, even though I personally found the first third to be too slow and also found several inaccuracies and logical flaws (How does Stannis now that Tyrion is responsible for the Wildfire? How can Stannis climb up the latter to King's Landing first of all without anyone of the Lannister's attacking him?). I do think that the hype about this episode is a bit disproportionate, but "Blackwater" is nevertheless one of the show's highlights.

  • What a Performance !

    10
    I only start watching that show last month "Feb. 2012" because of the over hyped "Season Three"... I'm not a big fan of Lord of Rings ,Troy , 300, etc...

    BUT that got my attention from the first episodes, It's complicated with easy to get along characters , Here at that one I surely know that Lena Headey "Cersei Lannister" was one of them, She's perfect at that episode along with Sophie Turner "Sansa Stark" and the marvelous Peter Dinklage "Tyrion Lannister"

    Can't wait for more
  • What it's all about

    10
    There aren't many series out there that can make an episode with everything you'd expect in a feature length film, but Blackwater has delivered. From start to finish this episode has everything, chilling dialogue, insane action, and in what I would call a tribute the the ferocity and violence of war, just like a life can be ended in an instant so to was the war and the episode. We finally get to see the little man proving himself to be more than he ever has before, showing a set of balls to back up his brilliant intelligence.

    One of the best scenes in my opinion were those of Cersei hauntingly telling it like it is, with no holds barred. There aren't many shows out there that can stop me from wanting to blink for almost an hour, but this is definitely one of them!!
  • Simply MINDBLOWING

    10
    Truly the best episode so far, it was simply mindblowing!!! Starting with the incredible ship burning on the river with wildfire, that green explosion was ridiculously awesome, amazeballs special effects, and then continuing with the siege and fighting - awesome! And Tyrion was so inspiring, loved his speech! All though in the book he was on the burning ship when that traitor hit him in the head, still the scene was portrayed beautifully in the show! What a brave lion, awesome character! And besides fighting, the dialogues between Cersei and Sansa were priceless! So for me this episode was awesome on so many levels, that it is simply insane how it all fit in only one hour, truly respect to the cast and crew for doing such a spectacular job! Can't wait to see what they will come up in the 3rd season next year, am sure it will be just as good or even better!
  • Amaizing

    10
    Just amaizing... What else can be said for this amaizing episode? I give 20 points to this episode.Ten points is low. 20
  • The Mother of all Battles

    10
    It began with chair, actually a really nasty throne, and the men fighting to sit on it. It continued with a friend, for that's what Bronn and Tyrion had become, saying goodbye & wishing to see each other again. It started on a boat, a grimm ship, in which a father & son remained oblivious to the fact this was the last conversation they would ever share. It continued with death, on both fronts, for each side was trying to defeat an enemy just as brave as themselves. It started with a Hound, broken and scarred, threaten to kill the man that just hours later would save his life. It ended with a pack, for the Hound sought the wolf so both he and Sansa would leave the Castle behind. It started with a mother, bitter & powerless to protect her children and it ended with a father, walking thought the gates with Ser Loras, as Lord Tywin reclaims King's Landing for the Lannisters.
  • I thought this episode OUTDID ITSELF!

    9.0
    There comes a time when in the course of human affairs you just can't avoid having a battle, and a battle means a battle SCENE. You can only have people making veiled threats for, well in this show two seasons, before someone gets mad enough at what is spewing out of a rival character's mouth to come to where that character is and shut them UP!



    Having read a bunch of the Sword of Truth books and seeing what Legend of the Seeker had done to rape them I was worried. In retrospect I shouldn't have been though, Sam Raimi loves to rape and desecrate his source material. For the uninitiated born after say 1995, good fantasy has not been hard to come by in your lifetime. Fantasy used to be thought impossible to do right on screen. Legend of the Seeker was a perfect example of this. In the books you have armies of thousands and wizards throwing Black Lightning but on screen you have five characters and a few extras. That was pathetic.



    Needless to say I was worried about this episode in particular, I mean I started worrying when I heard they had gotten a green light on Season 2 (My first words were: "How are they going to get around the battle of Blackwater?) and have continued to worry about it since then. I honestly didn't think they could do it on their budget and was having visions of hearing the battle described from the battlements with dialogue like "THEY'RE COMING THROUGH!"



    That's what I was expecting, and while they were using the same five extras repeatedly, they managed to widen the scope of the battle with a few REALLY well placed effects shots. After the initial impact of those shots you can sit back and watch a fairly accurate TV translation of the Battle of Helm's Deep.



    Speaking of Helm's Deep, one of my favorite things about that battle were the cutaway scenes inside the fortress where they show the women and children terrified. I think those types of scenes add to the feeling of jeopardy. Because of the nature of this particular story we have a lot of characters behind the lines and it is they (Cersei and Sansa in particular) that give this episode that special something. Cersei drinking and grabbing random children to talk to is great. You can see the beginnings of her mind starting to go.



    All in all This was a Great episode, it fulfilled my expectations which usually isn't that hard but was in this case, but it loses a point for not having The Chain in it. Readers of the book will understand why this is a loss.



    Can't wait for the last one, a lot of stuff has to happen in that last episode.

  • Best Of The Rest !!!!

    9.5
    Blackwater was a perfect episode of Game of Thrones because it had a lot of great character and plot development. I will say that I missed seeing most of the other characters, as this story focused on only a few. It was great watching as Stannis's men attacked and he himself led the attack up the wall. I also enjoyed Tyrion's plan when the battle first started. There were so many good things about this episode, like the dog basically disowning his owner. I would have loved to see more of the other characters but I was satisfied. Cersei was a little crazy in this episode, though it was cool listening to her tell the story of the little lion as Tyrion was on the battlefield. The ending was good and I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Incredible

    10
    I am speechless. The episode totally focused on the the invasion and while we we were scared to death this whore Cercei only cared about this idiot Joffrey who looks out for his ass. The resr of the cast was nowhere to be found.But did Tyrion (the halfman) survive and i aiso loved the unexpected turn the episode took with Tywin's arrival...........

    JUST AMAZING

    I WISH THE SEASON HAD NOT STOPPED NEXT SUNDAY
  • Perfect

    10
    Amazing episode, everything in the right proportions! The battle scenes were truly epic. We didn't get a chance to see Melisandre, or Joffrey getting the slow and painful death that he deserves, but the tension and bloodletting were quite rewarding. Let's see if in the finale they will tie up loose ends, such as what happens to Daenerys' dragons, where Jon Snow ends up and whether the balances will change in the palace, now that Joffrey has proven himself unworthy.
  • Blackwater

    10
    Blackwater was a perfect episode of Game of Thrones because it had a lot of great character and plot development. I will say that I missed seeing most of the other characters, as this story focused on only a few. It was great watching as Stannis's men attacked and he himself led the attack up the wall. I also enjoyed Tyrion's plan when the battle first started. There were so many good things about this episode, like the dog basically disowning his owner. I would have loved to see more of the other characters but I was satisfied. Cersei was a little crazy in this episode, though it was cool listening to her tell the story of the little lion as Tyrion was on the battlefield. The ending was good and I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Cinematic and brutal experience served by fantastic performers and an edgy script (Spoilers)

    9.0
    No fire, no ice, no Starks. They finally made the wise decision, too late sadly, of stopping constant switches between all arcs. Since The North Remembers I have desperately missed its cosmic editing. Contrary to the past episodes that only looked like a bunch of great scenes hastily joined together Blackwater was a full-blown television movie. Its story was unpredictable and featured many infernal moments. Of course the explosion sequence was jaw dropping, an hypnotic green fireworks, and definitely the one thing we will still remember in months but there were also plenty of other intense scenes. For instance when The Hound suddenly appeared beside Sansa in her bedroom I was convinced he was going to rape her. Instead their face off turned into a wicked homage to the Beauty and the Beast. Tyrion's speech to the soldiers made him grow on us even more and I really hope he'll survive his bloody wound because I'm not ready to let Peter Dinklage go. Game of Thrones needs him ! Losing Ned last season and Sean Bean in the process was painful enough. However I wouldn't blame George R. R. Martin if he had decided again to sacrifice again one of his mortal creatures.



    It leads us to Melisandre because I really expected her to show up and save the day when some of Stannis ships got annihilated. So I suppose we'll have to wait for the finale to witness what the old gods are capable of. Still I absolutely don't regret that magic wasn't part of the battle because it felt realistic, was served by a shockingly dark choreography and overall the production was just surreal ! In fact would it be wrong to compare it to what films like Braveheart and The Lord of the Rings : The Two Towers delivered ? I don't think so. They didn't fight in bright day light but the action couldn't have been gorier. The battle didn't feature elves, fantastic beasts nor mythological elements but it had a dwarf casting fireballs from his ass, a Joffrey who as expected acted like a pussy and brave men giving their life for what they thought was a noble cause ! My only major complain would be Cersei misplaced and way too numerous monologues. I really think they dramatically made the action less percussive when the battle shouldn't have been interrupted by anything. Otherwise it didn't ruin the experience, far from it, and I even suspect the women's side made things a little more vicious.



    Note : This review was first posted on Kritikenstein, my weblog.
  • What everything has been building up to

    10
    Not a score that I give out often, but this episode was well deserved of it. Penned by the great George R.R. Martin himself, this episode leaves everyone begging for more once the credits start to roll. This episode had it all: amazing action, acting, screenwriting, and a shocker at the end. The great battle scene depicted in the episode was as big in scope as the battle at Helm's Deep in Lord of the Rings. There was not a single boring second of it, and every character was developed miles further than what we had known of them before.



    Even the moments away from the battlefield were very interesting. The character that really shone in this episode was the queen, Cersei Lannister. Her lines and interactions, especially with Sansa, was what made this episode great. Some people complain when there's too much talking in Game of Thrones, but the scenes with Cersei and Sansa away from the battlefield really stole the show.



    Overall, epic episode, and a great setup to what should be an epic finale
  • Easily the best GoT episode

    10
    Blackwater was the best Game of Thrones episode yet. Despite the budget constraints, the battle of blackwater bay was executed brilliantly. No, it wasn't Helms Deep, but in some ways it was even better. And yet, it wasn't just the battle which was the excellent part, but also the scenes occurring in the Red Keep and the build up to the battle itself. Stannis was awesome, but Tyrion even better.

    The one thing about this episode that worried me was how little I missed any of the other characters. No Jon, Dany or Robb... but that didn't matter much. I've wanted them to focus on Tyrion more throughout the season, they did here and it worked out brilliantly.

  • The episode we've been waiting for

    10
    Game of Thrones's second season is interesting because of how many different storylines need to be told. The book has 9 different POV characters, all of whom are seperated and scattered throughout the world, with the exception of Sansa and Tyrion who are both in King's Landing during the second book.



    In this episode, we see the climax for 3 of the 9 POV characters. Sansa, Tyrion, and Davos. The other 6 come in the finale.



    But with this awesome episode, we don't even need a finale for the other characters. Everything that has been building up over the past 8 have led to this moment. Stannis and Davos gathering a fleet, Renly's death, Lord Tywin in Harrenhal, everything has been leading to the Battle of the Blackwater.



    And what a battle it was. The first half of this episode is spent in cold anticipation of the suffering to come. Troops barfing on board Stannis's fleet, Lannister men getting as drunk as they can in the brothels. Tyrion trying to command and Cersei trying to control.



    Every scene in this episode is important, from Cersei getting poison from Grand Maester Pycelle (who BTW is supposed to be in the dungeon...little plot hole there) to Tyrion's epic speech and battle at the end. The battle scenes themself were awesome. From the ships approaching the coast to Stannis's decision to land after his fleet getting blown to bits where we knew we were in for some serious ***.



    The land battle itself was amazing. Archers shooting fire, men setting ablaze, rocks falling from above, men getting sliced up. The Hound leads the first attack, eventually getting too scared by the fire and runs back inside, gets drunk, and runs away from King's Landing with his tail between his legs. He had some awesome scenes this episode.



    After The Hound leaves Stannis begins to climb the walls and break the gates with a battering ram. Tyrion has no choice but to rally scared men to fight for him and leads the attack himself. What does that lead to? Well...the moment were we screamed NOOO at the screen: Tyrion getting sliced in the face. Will he survive? Will Davos survive? What is the fate of Stannis's host? What happened to The Hound? All these questions, or at least some of them, will be answered in the finale.



    But hell, that was one AWESOME climax for the events in King's Landing and Dragonstone. BEST EPISODE OF GAME OF THRONES YET! :D
  • A "Crowning" Achievement (Get It?) (Book and Show Spoilers Ahead)

    10
    And so begins the Battle of the Blackwater, something book readers dread getting wrong and people who only watch the show may only be aware of from the preview or the whole "Stannis is going to attack us" dialogue that has been sprinkled throughout the last few episodes. This episode written by book creator George R.R. Martin and British film director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, Doomsday) have put together a masterpiece of battle that fully captures the "epic-ness" of the battle painted in the books. This is by far the best episode of TV this year by far and I can definitely see it taking home countless Emmys this next year particularly Best Directing for and Episode, Best Writing for a One-Hour Drama, Stunt Choreography, Effects, and Peter Dinklage for playing our favorite Lannister and dwarf his second outing (you know he deserves it). This episode achieved GOT nirvana, perfectly capturing the character stories that stuck out from the books such as the Hound deserting because of the fire and Stannis taking first atop the walls of King's Landing were additives. There was gore and guts galore but also it was about toppling one of the two regimes decisively and neither side was going to give in. By giving this battle the sole focus of the whole hour they gave the characters and us a chance to live in terror and curiosity of who would walk away victorious. Tyrion turning the tide with the stunning wildfire trick with Bronn's arrow was genius, as was the little add-on scene between Bronn and the Hound before battle. The Hound had many good scenes as his character was further explored and particularly his speech to Sansa when he says he'll take her home that killers shape the world. Cersei being drunk and telling Sansa of just how fervent of a woman-hater or prudish Stannis is and the nature of being Queen prove to explore truly how Cersei felt about being born a woman and to be as property to the men of the world of Westeros. Also the scene of Cersei meeting Shae was a universal GULP moment for us fans as her suspicions were aroused of this new handmaiden from Lorath. Words can't really describe the battle itself but the Hounds "screw the lot of you" list was well delivered but the real winner (I'm biased towards Stannis or any Baratheon for King) is Stannis being the first man on the walls killing the ever-loving piss out of every Lannister soldier and his "Stand and fight!" was all the more effective as his army was crushed by Tyrion's clever ploy and attacking Stannis in the rear. Davos's fate is unknown as he is blown off of his ship while his son is effectively Napalmed to death. Hopefully Stannis was pulled to safety aboard a boat since he was far enough to away to get out of the reach of the Tyrell/Lannister force crushing the Storm Men in the flank when they almost have the gate crashed down. As always Tyrion's speech of "Those are brave men at our doors. Let's go kill them!" Is the simplest way to rally people who will potentially lose their land and be killed. Joffrey retreating behind his mother's skirt was just pathetic and effectively killed morale until Tyrion took the reigns. I know we still have next week to see the House of the Undying and post-Arya escape from Harrenhal and Jon post-capture with Quorhin Halfhand and Robb and Catelyn and Jaime post-escape with Brienne and post battle but I hope that it all manages to come together because this story really needed to be isolated from the rest of stories because I couldn't have sat through it jumping from the battle to Arya to Robb back to Blackwater so I hope the week off screen time will not diminish or rush the finale in any way. That being said this is definitely the best Game of Thrones has ever had to offer and a certain attention grabber for anyone who hasn't seen the series. The perfect mix of destruction of chaos especially Cersei about to poor Nightshade (poison) into her son Tommen's mouth and then Tywin barely breaking through into the throne room in time to declare them victorious. This is one for the record books of what TV can do. Thanks, HBO.
  • F*** the kingsguard,

    10
    F*** the city, and f*** the king! F***ing love the Hound, who surprisingly had many great scenes and screen time.



    He and the queen stole the show. Though Sansa was quite great here, too. So was Tyrion cutting a dude's leg off. Well, Stannis running front line and first up the ladder might have stolen it. Though the pig shit exploding was pretty damn awesome. In fact, everybody stole the show this episode, everyone had a great moment to shine, even the guy who gets his head crushed by a rock.



    No storylines up North, across the Narrow Sea, or any other distractions. Only King's Landing and everyone caught in the battle. The most focused episode and by far the best of season two, at least to me. Just epic and brutal.



    And we find out Sandor Clegane is only afraid of one thing: fire, which I never thought of but totally makes sense. But my favorite scene and sort of oddly heartfelt moment came when he confronts Sansa and asks her to go North with him. I don't really know if he's a father figure or that he's in love with her, but it made for a poignant moment for the so called beast/dog.
  • 2x09 "Blackwater"

    10
    The best of episode of GoT this season by far and maybe of the entire show, a lot of character development and overall a remarkable piece of modern television.
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