Game of Thrones

Season 2 Episode 8

The Prince of Winterfell

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 20, 2012 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

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  • The Prince of Winterfell

    Another strong episode of Game of Thrones. The Jon and Ygritte story continues to be something creative, different while still being one of the great relationships at the same time.
  • Only preparing us for the season finale, but still filled with rememberable conversations.

    "The Prince of Winterfell" doesn't include any action scenes at all, but you feel that it serves as the preparation for what happens in the next episode and as that, I found it to do a very good job. However, . Weiss and David Benioff, the creators of the show, don't desist from including outstanding drama moments. Most of those happen in King's Landing where people seem to be in direct preparation for war (the whole setting just looked a little too calm for me considering the looming battle) while Harrenhal also gets its deserved attention. Not really in the fore anymore (rhyme alert!) are the story parts with Jon Snow and Daenerys, but I sense huge surprises waiting for them nevertheless in the final two episodes of season two. Winterfell and the Stark camp receive a fair amount of screen time as well, Stannis and Davos return after a short absence with a rather forgettable conversation that only includes one important sentence in two minutes of talk. Alrighty then, lots of stuff to talk about!

    Perpetually entertaining, but notably great in this episode were the several scenes at King's Landing, every single one involving Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. The only Emmy-winning cast member of the show never disappoints with his acting, yet in this episode, I honestly found more joy in the actors sharing the scenes with him. Lena Headey went back to being bitchy, the solitary thing she does better than having sex with her brother. Then there's Jerome Flynn as Bronn, spitting out hilarious one-liners pretty much every time he opens his mouth, Conleth Hill as Varys, whose only job seems to be having interesting conversations with all sorts of royal family members in the city, and Sibel Kekilli as Shae, the German actress who always failed to impress me until this episode and the ones before it, in which she mostly overcomes the unnaturalness she's had until that point.

    Maisie Williams once again did a terrific job as Arya - her conversation with Jaqen H'ghar may have been the best moment of "The Prince of Winterfell" but I found the group conversation in Tywin Lannister's dining room to be unnecessarily prolonged. Another scene overstaying its welcome happened in the tent of King Robb. Lady Talisa telling him a story of her childhood was definitely unneeded, yet it resulted in her taking her clothes off, which relativizes my criticism. I mean, as objective as I try to be in my reviews, that girl got a helluva booty. In a completely different matter, Brienne of Tarth got to spend time with Jaime Lannister, arguably the funniest scene this episode had to offer.

    Rose Leslie didn't lose her charm, only her screen time in this episode while seeing Qhorin Halfhand again made for some nice dialogue. Sam, Grenn, and that other nameless Night's Watch fellow who's never gotten an introduction, but is somehow there since the beginning of this season, use their time to dig comfort stations, during which Sam discovers a rotten Night's Watch cloak. Well, that was thrilling.

    Across the Narrow Sea, more specifically in Qarth, Daenerys is spending way too much time on whether or not to rescue her stolen dragons from Pyat Pree, thus the one scene there, her discussion with Jorah Mormont, was virtually useless. Now, to finally come to the episode's title, "The Prince of Winterfell", there's Theon Greyjoy, the douchebag with daddy issues who recently killed Bran and Rickon. But, why is Isaac Hempstead-Wright's name included in the opening credits, then? An interesting solution comes at the end of the episode.

    All in all, I enjoyed "The Prince of Winterfell" quite a lot and best of all was the way the tension for the following episode was built. Practically every story part in this episode was a set-up for the big season finale starting with "Blackwater" and left me wondering about all the things that could possibly happen. Way to go!
  • Arya's looking for a breath of life...

    ...but all the choirs in Harrenhal sing "no" as the hutsman, er Jaqen H'ghar is nowhere to be found. See, a man has patrol duty - A man can go kill himself! - its Arya's response. Thus, began one of the best power plays since Tywin Lannister took her for cupbearer, for a man must kill whoever she names. Poor Arya wanted to name Tywin to protect Robb, but Tywin has already gone away, so a girl names a man and a man couldn't look more upset - A girl must be joking, a girl must unname a name! - but Arya won't do so, not unless Jaqen helps Gendry & Hot Pie escape.

    If a man helps her out, a girl must do as he says. The girl is happy to obey. Even if Gendry looks not so happy himself. It's one thing for Arya to need Jaqen and another, entirely different, to risk her own life for him, so the blacksmith boy can't help himself but to yell her name for half of Harrenhal to hear it ...if it weren't because Jaqen has already killed the guards, by the time Arya walks Gendry and Hot Pie through the main gate.
  • Betrayal (Show and Book Spoilers Ahead)

    This week Theon has all of the ravens in Winterfell killed so that word of Bran and Rickon's death won't reach any of the Northerners. Tyrion continues to look for a way to defeat Stannis Baratheon's massive numbers by going through the histories of Westeros with wit accompanied by Varys and Bronn. Robb and Talisa continue their relationship and finally admit their feelings for one another and have sex in his tent. Robb has also hit a low point since returning from the Crag with the Kingslayer being let go by Catelyn and Robb orders her arrested for her betrayal. Jon is presented to Rattleshirt (the Lord of Bones) by Ygritte and it turns out that Quorhin Halfhand has also been captured by them but Quorhin protects Jon by projecting his worth to Mance Rayder alive rather than dead as a son of Ned Stark. Quorhin plays a dangerous game with Jon pretending and committing fully to making the wildling captors believe that he hates Jon and he's turning his cloak on the Night's Watch. The two have a scuffle and Jon goes with it. Clearly it's the only way that they will be able to get information on the full capabilities of the Wildling army Mance has assembled and their discreet discussion on how it must be done is great to show how cunning the Halfhand really is. Tyrion is given a scare when Cersei, while having dinner with him, accuses him of wanting to have Joffrey killed during the defense of King's Landing. She says she has his whore but it's not Shae it turns out to be Ross. Clearly Varys fed her wrongful information on the subject or something but Tyrion having to cover it up by pretending that it hurts him, and he truly does not like seeing an innocent woman hurt. But the near scrape leaves his desperate for Shae and he tells her that he would kill for her and that he will probably have to. Cersei remains ever cold despite her touching moment with Tyrion last week when she disclosed how she could not control Joffrey anymore. But Tyrion's line about revenge will I hope come back to haunt Cersei dearly. Tywin Lannister leaves Harrenhal to fight Robb he says but he leaves before Arya can get to Jaqen to give him Tywin's name for killing. Instead of a name she asks for help escaping Harrenhal and Jaqen complies by killing the guards on duty but making it look like they are still on watch. Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry escape from Harrenhal and onto greener pastures. We get a great brief scene between Jaime and Brienne where she's putting him into a boat and her taunts her about her ugliness and makes himself a hassle on purpose. Jorah advises Dany not to go to the House of the Undying following last week's reveal from Pyat Pree the sorcerer. But she says that a mother must never leave her children and he complies. The reveal at the end of the episode was a weak reconciliation for people who thought that Bran and Rickon were dead for only a whole week. In the book it wasn't revealed until the last chapter that Bran was even still alive in book 2 as a surprise now they just want us to see "hey guys we didn't kill children or anything that would be too hardcore even for us." Theon is also visited by Yara who rather than bringing the 500 men he was promised is given twenty instead and they bond while she tells him to come home with her and abandon Winterfell but he refuses for fear of shame from his father. She tells him not to die far from the sea but he sends her away. At the Fist of the First Men Sam Grenn and Pyp uncover dragonglass daggers hidden in a worn out old black Night's Watch cloak that has to be there for something. But last but not least we see Stannis and Davos about to land in King's Landing on the Eve of what is presumed to be the battle for his winning of the kingdom. Stannis is by far my favorite new character and he is much more fleshed out in the series with a face to see his human beyond being guilty of fratricide. As a younger brother I understand his reasoning behind living in Robert's shadow and how he and Davos got forgotten in Robert's Rebellion and Robert and Ned Stark took all of the credit for it in the histories. The scene brings a lot of pull to Stannis's need to rule not because he wants to but because it is his right by all the laws of Westeros. He may be hard to like and rough around the edges but since he gives the Lannisters such a wedgie I love him all the more (but I don't want Tyrion to die obviously). But from the promo next episode will focus on the Battle of the Blackwater I presume which is what I've been waiting for all season. Yeah epic battle sequences! But now we have a smooth landing strip to pave the way for the last two episodes of the season as the War of the Five Kings rages on.
  • Even compared to the books, this episode was pretty great.

    First of all I have read the books so this review will be from that perspective. So far this season, the episodes have been a bit of a let down compared to the epicness of the books and also quite slow which is really saying something about the quality of this episode.

    This episode sees Jon get back on track with what happens in the book which is great cause his storyline just keeps getting better and more interesting as it goes on.

    Arya's storyline is altered quite a bit but still heading in the right direction. I love the actor who plays Gendry, he's great. Also having Tywin involved with Arya in the first place makes it pretty interesting.

    I really liked Rob and his love interest in this (although it's a different person in the book), even though it's a pretty bad choice on his part.

    Catelyn's decision to let Jaime free is ridiculous but more justified in the books (she had been told that Bran and Rickon had been killed)

    Joffrey starting to take a back seat in things which is good as he is abnormally ignorant.

    The whole 'dragons stolen' subplot with Dany doesn't actually exist in the book. I also kind of wish they would speed her storyline up a bit to get back to what's in the book, it also doesn'tt really add too much.

    All in all this episode was very entertaining and faster-paced than previous ones. I look forward to Blackwater and seeing how each storyline is interpreted.
  • game of thrones

    Finally an episode with much less disurbing Joffrey
  • The Prince of Winterfell

    I'm going to break this review into sections, much like they do with the plot summaries for each book and episode on Wikipedia. This review will contain spoliers.

    In King's Landing

    I thought that this section of the episode was somewhat slow compared to normal, but I understand that they need to pace the show and they had to provide a more plot-driven episode this week to counter the action-packed episode airing next week. I enjoyed Tyrion's clever deceit when he realized that Cersei had mistaken the identity of Tyrion's lover, but beyond that I didn't get much enjoyment out of this section. I predict that the battle for King's Landing will be won by Stannis, but I just don't know what will become of Joffrey and the Lannisters in that event.

    Beyond the Wall

    I'm glad Ygritte stood up for Jon when he was ordered to be killed, if he does end up dying (I have yet to read the books), it's just too early on in the series for it. I'm excited to see what happens when he is introduced to Mance Rayder. I predict that he will be kept as a prisoner of the wildlings.

    At Harenhaal

    As much as I don't want to root for Tywin Lannister, I believe he's smart to seize this oppurtunity to get a win against the Stark forces. It was also clever of Arya with the way she got Jaqen to help her escape from Harenhaal. I'm curious to find out what happens with her on the next episode.

    In the Westerlands

    Catelyn Stark's actions with sending Jaime Lannister to be traded for Arya and Sansa frustrate me. There is no way that Joffrey and Cersei will agree to that offer, but they'll still take Jaime back by force once he's right in front of them.

    On the Baratheon Ships

    Not much happened here on this episode. It doesn't come as much of a surprise to me that Stannis wants to name Davos his Hand in the event that he takes the throne.

    Across the Narrow Sea

    Daenerys has always been far-fetched with her plans, but I understand where she is coming from here. If I was in the possession of three baby dragons and they were taken from me there's no way I'd just walk away and try to forget about them, regardless of what I would have to go through to get them back. My prediction is that we won't see the end to this small story arc until the beginning of the third season.

    At Winterfell

    Theon is a horrible ruler, and an idiot. His power should come from the trust of his people, not their fear of him. He's become completely ignorant. How could he possibly believe that word of his takeover of Winterfell has not already reached the Stark camp? I predict that he will be dead by the end of this season.

    All in all, this episode was harder for me to get into, and probably my least favorite of the season, but it's still Game of Thrones, even at it's worst it's still amazing. Even the slow episodes are important because they progress the story into the action.
  • Just not a very good episode..

    To be honest, I thought this was the worst game of thrones episode since "Lord Snow" way back in the first season. Sure it was filled with some great scenes like Tyrion vs. Cersie and Arya scenes, but overall many of the scenes were boring and dragged out. Also, while Game of Thrones generally avoids getting dragged down from all its spiraling and very loosely connected stories, it does do so here.
  • Engaged and Confused

    Engaged and Confused was a superb episode of Game of Thrones. i really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of action, drama, and intrigue. The story was well written and I liked how every thing intertwined. The episode was informative but I still feel like something was missing. The last few episodes lacked major Wow factors. I don't care about anything but the reunion of Dany and her Dragons and Bran regaining consciousnesses and turning the Dire Wolves loose. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Cat is full of fail

    Honestly. Lady Stark, to me, seems to be nothing more then a failure to people around her.

    Everything she does seems to go rotten. I don't mind her character but I have yet to see her do something that seems to go well. I see her as a sheep wishing to be a wolf, and it's about time someone put a leash on her.

  • 2x08-The Prince of Winterfell

    The calm before the storm.
  • 2x08 "The Prince of Winterfell"

    This episode had this positive feeling, Arya finally got herself out of that prision, Tyrion and Robb are in love and Bran is still alive. On the contrary to the other episode, good things are starting to happen to good people, I hope Stannis beats the Lannisters in the next episode.