Game of Thrones

Season 2 Episode 3

What Is Dead May Never Die

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 15, 2012 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
370 votes

By Users Episode Review


    Game of Thrones: Off the Page

    "What Is Dead May Never Die" highlighted one of the series' biggest obstacles: handling the story's ever-expanding universe.

  • Episode Summary

    North of the Wall, Jon is reprimanded for interfering with Craster, while Sam bonds with one of Craster's wives. In Winterfell, Bran continues to dream. Elsewhere, Catelyn approaches Renly Baratheon about an alliance. In the Iron Islands, Balon decides to act while the Starks are busy in the South. In King's Landing, Tyrion plays the council members against one another and learns the identity of the spy among them.

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    • What Is Dead

      A solid, fast-moving episode of GOT here. Not every character was featured prominently, but we gained a better scope of what we can expect as the season progresses.
    • Tyrion is a sly bugger and gay kings haven't lost quality since the first season

      Instantly continuing where we left off, "What Is Dead May Never Die" is calming the audience after a what I thought to be supremely ominous cliffhanger in the previous episode. Jon Snow is alright and Samwell gets to have his romantic moment. Sort of. Meanwhile, we have Catelyn starting her negotiations with the charismatic gay king Renly, a character that I'm very pleased to see again, Tyrion proving that he is a really smart cookie, and Theon having to decide which side of his two families he's on. And last but not least, there is a small but powerful battle scene at the end of the episode involving Arya.

      What stands out in this episode is clearly the way Tyrion, the new Hand of the King, detects Cersei's snitch a method thoroughly entertaining to watch if you haven't read the books. Even if so, I'm sure you'll find pleasure in watching Peter Dinklage outshine everyone in the same room with him. I, however, found some flaws in Sansa encountering Shae for the first time, a scene that obviously needed more takes, in my humble opinion. Another con was Theon confronting his father, which didn't felt genuine and quite nondescript to watch. I simply dislike the whole idea of him coming back to Pyke and none of the scenes until this point as well as none of the scenes in the next two episodes (I've already seen them) made change my opinion about that.

      In the end, those two things didn't bother me a lot because as usual, the good stuff was predominant and I had great fun with the introduction of Margaery Tyrell in particular. Natalie Dormer is an utterly talented young actress who manages to keep her character interesting not only in a sexual sense (she's still hot, though). Gwendoline Christie does a fine job as Brienne of Tarth yet I have the same issue as with the Theon story part: I don't like the original idea by George R. R. Martin. The other returning cast members, Gethin Anthony and Finn Jones, sustain their good performances from season one while still keeping their relationship juicy.

      Altogether, this makes for some entertaining 50 minutes filled with the usual good acting, pretty set design, well-written dialogs, great score, and a final scene just as enthralling as the ones in the first two episodes.moreless
    • The Buzz Killer

      Theon finally sells his brother-in-arms as he aims to the same goal as his father. Elsewhere Not-a-Lady Brianne defeats Sir Loras wining a place in an army that might not be suited for the winter, as Lady Catlyn Stark points out. Renly's problems seem bigger than whether or not he can produce an heir sooner than his brother Stannis, for the time being.

      That seems to be a problem the once and future Night's Watch doesn't have, for it has more than proven to be as resilient as the Night's Watch that was, Gendry sleeping close by as Arya cleans her sword & share stories with Yoren (not unlike her father used to do, back when it was Lady Stark the one who slept close to him). Alas, that's the last story the old warrior shared, for Yoren managed to kill 5 of the King's men before the other 15 stabbed him in the back.

      Gendry and the kids try their best to avenge their master, up until a moment of fleeting doubt in which it appears Robert's son may be as dead as Lommy, that is until Arya saves his life, by pretending the bastard they came to find was the same child who was already killed, and so the last son of Robert and the last daughter of Ned march together toward an uncertain future.moreless
    • What is Dead May Never Die

      The Good:

      -"Every man who's tasted my cooking has told me what a good whore I am."

      -It is really interesting to see Cersei lose control of herself for a moment, and even more interesting (for those who've read the books) to actually see interplay between Renly and Margaery.

      -Tyrion's cleverness gets to shine, and Grand Maester Pycelle gets a haircut.

      -Arya too gets to exhibit both her cleverness, as well as her loyalty.moreless
    • great episode

      What is dead may never die. What an ending? I've never read the books, but S2 is turning out to be very intriguing. It is now quite somber and even more suspenseful making it somewhat more pragmatic for a fantasy tale. The soundtracks at the end I must say are very good, especially on this episode. It was fitting, if you know what I mean. Anyways, two thumbs up for Game of Thrones S2. doing well so far.moreless

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

      • The title of this episode, "What Is Dead May Never Die", is quoted from the Iron Islander's religious worship of the Drowned God. The Iron Islanders, called Ironborn, often use it as a war cry, or even as a formal greeting.

    • QUOTES (3)

      • Tyrion Lannister: My sister wants to hurt me; she'll look for any weakness she can find. She can't know about you.
        Shae: I'm the weakness?
        Tyrion Lannister: It's a compliment, My Lady.
        Shae: How is being a weakness a compliment?

      • Lord Varys: Power is a curious thing, my lord. Are you fond of riddles?
        Tyrion Lannister: Why, am I about to hear one?
        Lord Varys: Three great men sit in a room: a king, a prince, and a rich man. Between them stands a common sellsword. Each great man bids the sellsword kill the other two. Who lives? Who dies?
        Tyrion Lannister: Depends on the sellsword.
        Lord Varys: Does it? He has neither crown nor gold nor favor with the gods.
        Tyrion Lannister: He has a sword, the power of life and death.
        Lord Varys: But if it's swordsmen who rule, why do we pretend kings hold all the power? When Ned Stark lost his head, who was truly responsible? Joffrey? The executioner? Or something else?
        Tyrion Lannister: I've decided I don't like riddles.
        Lord Varys: Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick, a shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow.

      • Shae: Every man who's tasted my cooking has told me what a good whore I am.

    • NOTES (0)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)