Game of Thrones

Season 2 Episode 4

Garden of Bones

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 22, 2012 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
385 votes

By Users Episode Review


    Game of Thrones: Congratulations! It's a... Whatever That Is!

    This season's best episode yet gave us so many talking points, we barely know where to start.

  • Episode Summary


    Robb meets a young nurse in the battlefield. In King's Landing, Tyrion puts a stop to Joffrey's mistreatment of Sansa. Elsewhere, Petyr Baelish pays Renly Baratheon a visit much to Catelyn's dismay. Davos Seaworth escorts Melisandre to a secluded location, and Arya and Gendry arrive at Harrenhal. While in the desert, one of Daenarys' riders returns with news that the elders of Qarth will receive them.

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    • Garden of Bones

      I found this to be the weakest of the season, despite claims to the contrary. While there were some good Tyrion moments, things moved at a snail's pace.
    • "The King can do as he likes" - The creators of this series shouldn't

      When you find two new locations in the opening credits of a Game of Thrones episode, you know it's going to be an important one. And it is, indeed. Major events include the confrontation between the fraternal kings Renly and Stannis, Peter Baelish showing up at Renly's camps to persuade both him and Catelyn Stark, Daenerys and her Khalasar finding an accommodation at last, Arya doing so as well, however, in a less pleasant way, Robb Stark and his army again defeating the Lannister ones, and King Joffrey demonstrating malice that goes way beyond normality.

      And let's start with talking about that scene in particular. It involves sexual humiliation and violence that left me awestruck while also questioning its necessity. A scene like that never occurred in the original novels and I believe the series would've also been better off without it. Not only because it's utterly unappealing to watch, but also because I just don't buy Joffrey being that evil. It's not normal and we've already had his cruelty depicted numerous times before, so why include it? If I'd like to see a pornographic actress (she is one, look it up) have her derrire beaten with a belt, there are other movies to watch. Aside from that, Jack Gleeson once again impressed me with his acting qualities.

      Later on, there's another very sexually explicit moment in "Garden of Bones". It's a disturbing, puzzling, and jaw-dropping cliffhanger as unexpected as it gets. And while this one was in the source material as well, I still don't like it. At first I reckoned this sentiment to be utter confusion about what just happened and so I could prevent writing an overhastily critical review, I decided to watch episode five right afterwards. Yet, it turns out that I still don't like it and what happened in the next episode was actually the most disappointing moment of the whole series yet specifics on that in my review for "The Ghost of Harrenhal". I'm aware that quite a lot of people seemed to love that scene, but I've watched it twice and my personal conclusion is that it's a form of fantasy Game of Thrones didn't need at all. I didn't have any problems with White Walkers or dragons, but what happened here took me out of the story completely and just didn't feel right.

      Thankfully, the other story parts of this episode were really good and almost made me forget about the aforementioned two. Best of all, the introduction of Qarth: a walled oasis in the middle of the desert, entitled "the greatest city that ever was or will be". The opening of its gates was one of the Game of Thrones' most rememberable moments and revealed a masterpiece of its set designers. The curious folk we're making acquaintance with there is different from everything else in the series, and a sub-plot that hopefully receives its deserved attention in the next couple of episodes. The second new location, Harrenhal, is a far uglier place that serves the sole purpose of capturing, torturing and eventually killing Lannister prisoners. A process that could've been made more entertaining to watch, but I'll stop complaining for once and will say that I enjoyed it a lot. Maisie Williams gives a fantastic turn while a surprise guest voluntarily visits this location.

      As always, there's also Peter Dinklage, the imp responsible for keeping up HBO's ratings, who amazes with his enormous acting qualities. Receiving far less praise as she should is Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell, making her character wonderfully exciting to watch while having a conversation with Aidan Gillen's Peter Baelish a stand-out moment in the episode's screenplay.

      That makes for an episode that disappointed me at times, but was also rememberable and enthralling on other occasions. Minor flaws just can't curb my amazement for this series.moreless
    • this show is so amzaing

      wow just wow, the way joffery treats his lady sansa isnt right, the whole stark family is down in the dumps, i hope they get back on there feet soon,

    • Garden of Bones

      The Good:

      -"The high road's very pretty, but you'll have a hard time marching your army down it."

      -"If war were arithmetic, the mathematicians would rule the world."

      -"A man without friends is a man without power."

      -"Shadows cannot live in the dark."

      The Bad:

      -As opposed to "What is Dead May Never Die," "Garden of Bones" feels a bit slow.
    • A vicious treat

      So this is the second good game of thrones episode in a row, and I feel like last year, the show is getting stronger after a slow build up. That said, I didn't like Garden of Bones as much as the previous episode, although that might be entirely because of the lack of Tyrion here.

      Where this episode excelled was in how it shocked the viewers, including me, with how dark and bloody it was. There were 3 scenes which were just plain sadistic and reminded us how insane the world of GoT is.

      But in terms of plot development, not too much happened in this episode. Two new locations were unlocked, Harenhal and Qarth. The former is just awesome, a city melted by dragonfire and now a lannister prison or fortress of sorts. I wish we get more backstory about this place. And I'm also beginning to see why Arya's story might be a little relevant. Now that she's cupbearer to Tywin, we might see more of what the Lannister's are doing in the war, cause right now we only know that Rob is whooping them. As for Qarth, its a giant desert city that Dany has managed to come to, and after a rather long and drawn out scene, is allowed to enter.

      Also, I'm really liking Renly this season, as he does seem very.. Kingly. Most unlike Stannis. Still, I'm not sure why Catelyn and Renly STILL haven't talked. Has Renly agreed to an allaince? We simply skip all that and go to Renly and Stannis suddenly talking on a field. Wasn't stannis on an island far away just last episode? And how did Renly get all the men that are Stannis' (since he's second in line)? The show needs to explain these things better.

      As for that final scene, I can't decide whether I liked it or not. It was a great WTF moment, but I hope the magic doesn't get too widespread. Its great when its in little touches like this and with Dany's dragons, but I sure hope mages and elves don't start popping in everywhere.moreless

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (7)

      • Ser Meryn Trant: No one threatens his grace in the presence of the King's Guard!
        Tyrion Lannister: I'm not threatening the King, sir, I am educating my nephew. Bronn, the next time Ser Meryn speaks, kill him. That was a threat. See the difference?

      • Roose Bolton: In my family we say, "A naked man has few secrets, a flayed man none."
        Robb Stark: My father outlawed flaying in the North.
        Roose Bolton: We're not in the North.
        Robb Stark: We're not torturing them!
        Roose Bolton: The high road's very pretty, but you'll have a hard time marching your army down it.

      • Melisandre: You should kneel before your brother. He's the Lord's Chosen, born amidst salt and smoke.
        Renly Baratheon: Born amidst salt and smoke? Is he a ham?

      • Melisandre: Shadows cannot live in the dark.

      • Petyr Baelish: If war were arithmetic, the mathematicians would rule the world.

      • Robb Stark: You'd have us surrender? End all this bloodshed. I understand. The country would be at peace and life will be just under the righteous hand of good King Joffrey.
        Talisa: You're going to kill Joffrey?
        Robb Stark: If the gods give me strength.
        Talisa: And then what?
        Robb Stark: I don't know. We'll go back to Winterfell. I have no desire to sit on the Iron Throne.
        Talisa: So who will?
        Robb Stark: I don't know.
        Talisa: You're fighting to overthrow a king, and yet you have no plan for what comes after?
        Robb Stark: First we have to win the war.

      • Daenerys Targaryen: When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who have wronged me. We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground. Turn us away and we will burn you first.

    • NOTES (1)

      • Ian Whyte replaced Conan Stevens as Ser Gregor "The Mountain That Rides" Clegane for the second season. He appeared in three episodes starting with this one, the other two being A Man Without Honor and The Prince of Winterfell.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

    • 10:00 pm
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