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    The Interesting Details I Noticed Rewatching "Game Of Thrones" Season 2

    There's so much to unpack in this season.

    Episode 1: "The North Remembers"

    The Big Plot Stuff:

    • We pick up not long after the end of Season 1. Joffrey enjoys his name day celebrations by torturing Ser Dontos, and Sansa saves the latter's life with some skilful manipulation of Joffrey – she's learning already. Joffrey is also redecorating the throne room, getting rid of all the vines and flowers we saw in Season 1. He's super rude to Cersei and she slaps him, but he threatens her in response. She seems genuinely afraid.

    • Tyrion arrives in King's Landing as the new Hand of the King, much to Cersei's displeasure.

    • Janos and the City Watch kill every one of Robert's bastards they can find, including the baby in Littlefinger's brothel. Luckily, our boy Gendry is far from the city already – he's on the road north with Arya and Yoren.

    • Bran has a "dream" where he is inside his direwolf, Summer.

    • Dany and what's left of her khalasar are wandering the Red Waste with the newborn dragons, dirty and starving. Dany sends her three bloodriders off in search of help.

    • North of the Wall, we meet Dolorous Edd for the first time as Jon and the Night's Watch crew reach Craster's Keep. Craster and his daughter-wives are the only wildlings within "100 leagues" who haven't disappeared.

    • Robb still has Jaime chained up in his camp. Cat wants to trade Jaime for Arya and Sansa, but Robb refuses. He also won't let Cat go to Winterfell, instead asking her to go to the Stormlands and negotiate with self-proclaimed King Renly, who has amassed a 100,000-strong army. Meanwhile, Theon asks Robb to send him home to Pyke so he can convince his father to help Robb's cause, and Robb agrees.

    • We see Dragonstone for the first time, and meet Stannis Baratheon, Melisandre and Ser Davos Seaworth. Melisandre is burning some statues of the Seven and doing her whole "the night is dark and full of terrors" thing. She uses her fire magic to help Stannis pull a flaming sword from the fire, which she calls "Lightbringer". We all know it's not the Lightbringer, nor was Stannis Azor Ahai (and if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can brush up here). Stannis' maester is very suspicious of Mel and tries to poison her, but she seems immune and he just ends up poisoning himself.

    • There's a red comet in the sky, and Osha says it means "dragons". She knows her shit.

    Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

    • When Mel drinks the poison, her choker glows. It seems to be the source of her power – or at least harness it in some way – since it was the removal of the choker that revealed her true appearance in Season 6.

    • As Ros is trialling new employees at the brothel, she repeats Littlefinger's words to her from Season 1 almost word for word. She's clearly learning a lot from him.

    • Theon says "I'm not a Stark, I know that, but your father raised me to be an honourable man", which resonates with his emotional scene with Jon about his Stark identity and sense of honour in Season 7.

    Stray observations:

    • I absolutely love the scenes featuring Cersei and Tyrion together. Their verbal sparring is exquisite, and both actors shine in opposition to each other.

    • Another great scene is Cersei's spat with Littlefinger, in which she utters her "power is power" line. It says a lot about her character and how she rules.

    • Selyse, Stannis' wife, is played by a totally different actor in the one (non-speaking) scene she has.

    • I SOBBED watching Robb promise Cat that "we will all be together again soon". We know how that turned out.

    • I mentioned in my Season 1 recap that Jon is much more ambitious than most people give him credit for. This is backed up in this episode, in which he admits to Jeor Mormont that he'd like to lead one day.

    Episode 2: "The Night Lands"

    The Big Plot Stuff:

    • The City Watch come looking for Gendry, but Yoren threatens them and sends them packing. Arya reveals to Gendry that she's Ned Stark's daughter after realising he met Ned.

    • The Night's Watch are still at Craster's Keep. Sam "saves" Gilly, one of Craster's daughter-wives, from Ghost. Gilly declares that Sam is "very brave" – literally the first time anyone has said that to him. Sam asks Jon if they can take Gilly with them when they leave, because she's pregnant and doesn't want to lose her baby if it's a boy, but Jon says it's impossible. Later, Jon sees Craster sneaking into the woods with a son born to a different daughter-wife. He watches Craster abandon the baby, and glimpses a White Walker coming to claim it. He doesn't see too much though because Craster conks him on the head.

    • Rakharo's horse returns to Dany with Rakharo's dismembered head attached. RIP sweet Rakharo. :(

    • Theon is excited to be home, but doesn't get the welcome reception he expected. He doesn't recognise his sister Yara and, um, fingers her on a horse? And she lets him because she's testing his character or something? Incesty!

    • Ros is mourning the death of the baby killed at the brothel, and Littlefinger really nastily tells her to get her act together or it won't end well for her.

    • Tyrion has dinner with Janos Slynt and sends him to the Night's Watch, appointing Bronn the new commander of the City Watch. Also, Podrick Payne is Tyrion's new squire!

    • Davos enlists the help of pirate Salladhor Saan for Stannis' war campaign. Meanwhile, Stannis bangs Melisandre on the map table.

    Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

    • Varys talks about Ned Stark with Tyrion, saying he was a "man of honour" and Tyrion points out "I'm not". Which is relevant given theories that Tyrion will betray Dany in Season 8.

    • When Gendry finds out Arya is a Stark, he says "I should be calling you m'lady". This will be referenced in their farewell scene in Season 3 (and hopefully in their reunion scene in Season 8!!).

    • Matthos, Davos' son, wants to teach him to read, but he sees no point in it. Guess he'll change his mind later! Also, Melisandre whispers to Matthos that "death by fire is the purest death", which is a completely normal and fine thing to tell someone.

    • Tyrion warns Cersei that her and Joffrey's actions are causing them to lose "the people". This is something that hasn't been adequately addressed in recent seasons – especially after Cersei BLEW UP HALF THE CITY. Hopefully Season 8 will explore how the people of King's Landing actually feel about their queen. Or maybe it won't matter because they'll all be zombified.

    Stray observations:

    • The small council talk about a raven from Castle Black arriving, begging for more men because "the cold winds are rising and the dead rise with them". They really just dropped the plotline about Thorne bringing the dead man's hand to the capital. It's also interesting to note that Tyrion is less skeptical about the White Walkers here than he was at the beginning of Season 1 – while Cersei remains completely dismissive.

    • Balon Greyjoy's respect for Yara is literally the only good thing about him. As for Theon, as much as I HATE what he does later this season, I do understand and feel for him. He's in such a difficult position, caught between his two identities, and the way his father treats him is pretty messed up. His desire to prove himself makes sense.

    • Davos mentions his wife, and tbh I completely forgot he had one! Where is she now? Doesn't he want to see her, what with the end of the world coming and all?

    • One of my notes for this episode is just: GENDRY I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. Just so you know.

    • And several of my notes are "Jon is so pretty". He's really at peak prettiness this season.

    • This episode has a lot of funny moments! I especially loved Edd and Grenn's "what happens when you die" discussion, and Gendry's reaction to finding out Arya is a "lady" ("I've been pissing in front of you and everything!").

    Episode 3: "What Is Dead May Never Die"

    The Big Plot Stuff:

    • Jon discovers Jeor knew Craster was sacrificing his sons.

    • Bran has another wolf dream.

    • Cat arrives at Renly's camp just in time to meet his new queen Margaery Tyrell and watch Ser Loras losing a duel to Brienne of Tarth. Renly names Brienne one of his kingsguard.

    • Theon tries to persuade Balon to join the North in their fight against the Lannisters, but Balon would rather invade the North while it's undefended. Theon writes a letter warning Robb, but burns it without sending it. He gets baptised and commits fully to the Greyjoy cause, turning his back on the Starks.

    • Shae is bored being cooped up in her room all the time, so Tyrion and Varys arrange for her to become Sansa's new handmaiden, despite the fact she has no idea what she's doing.

    • Tyrion tries to figure out who Cersei's spy on the small council is by telling Pycelle, Varys and Littlefinger different stories about who he's marrying Myrcella off to. Turns out the spy is Pycelle – and Myrcella is subsequently sold off to Dorne. Pycelle is chucked in the dungeons.

    • Renly is not interested in banging Margaery, because he's extremely gay. Margaery offers to bring Loras in to start him off, but it's all too INCESTY for Renly's liking, proving he really was one of the purest souls on this show.

    • Arya can't sleep and has a conversation with Yoren, in which he tells a story about how he was set on revenge after this guy, Willem, killed his brother. He'd go to sleep reciting "Willem" every night. Thus Arya's list is born.

    • The City Watch come back for Gendry, this time with Lannister soldiers as back-up. They kill Yoren and Lommy and take everyone else prisoner. Arya tricks them into believing Lommy was Gendry so they don't continue to search for him.

    Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

    • When Jon tells Jeor he "saw something" take Craster's baby, Jeor says, "whatever it was, I daresay you'll see it again." AND HOW.

    • Bran says, "My dreams are different. Mine are true." He's already realising his power.

    • Brienne states "I'm no lady", which reminded me heavily of Arya.

    • This is the episode Varys makes his famous speech: "Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick, a shadow on the wall." It picks up on the themes of Cersei and Littlefinger's conversation in the previous episode.

    Stray observations:

    • Sam gives Gilly his mother's thimble as a token of love when he leaves. It reminded me of Peter Pan.

    • Did Old Nan die between seasons? Bran talks about how she "used to" tell him stories.

    • My heart absolutely broke when Theon went after his father, crying, "You gave me away. Your boy. Your last boy!"

    • Theon's letter to Robb said: "Robb, I hope this reaches you in time. My father has rejected the offer and plans to attack the North...mobilise your army and make for the North before it's too late. I'll write again when I can." If only he had sent it!!

    • Myrcella and Tommen are so sweet, it ruins me. How did Cersei raise such nice kids?!

    • Speaking of Myrcella, if Littlefinger or Varys had turned out to be Cersei's spy, would Tyrion have married her off to whoever he mentioned in those stories, or was it always going to be Dorne?

    Episode 4: "Garden of Bones"

    The Big Plot Stuff:

    • Robb's army successfully attacks a Lannister camp in the middle of the night and wins the battle. Roose Bolton (ugh) has become Robb's right-hand man (what happened to Greatjon Umber???). Robb meets Talisa, who is tending to a Lannister man injured in battle. She saws off his leg, which apparently really turns Robb on.

    • Joffrey gets Ser Meryn Trant to beat Sansa in the throne room, in retaliation for Robb's victory. Tyrion walks in and stops him, and the Hound covers Sansa's torn clothes with his cloak. Tyrion kind of threatens Joffrey, which will come back to bite him. Tyrion sends Ros and Daisy, another sex worker, to Joffrey in the hopes it will release some of his, er, tension, but Joffrey forces Ros to beat Daisy. It's awful.

    • Tyrion realises Lancel is banging Cersei and threatens to tell Jaime unless Lancel becomes his spy – naturally, he does. Tyrion agrees to release Pycelle at Cersei's demand, but refuses to allow him back on the small council.

    • Littlefinger arrives at Renly's camp to return Ned's remains to Cat, per Tyrion Lannister's request, as a gesture of goodwill. Cat attacks Littlefinger for betraying Ned but unfortunately doesn't kill him. He tells her he has BOTH Stark girls which is a lie. Later, Cat accompanies Renly in his negotiation with Stannis, which doesn't go well.

    • Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie arrive at Harrenhal as the Lannister's prisoners. They learn the Mountain picks one person to die every day, and they're tortured to death by a guy named The Tickler. Arya panics when Gendry is chosen, but Tywin Lannister arrives just in time to put a stop to it. Not because he particularly cares about Gendry, but because he'd rather use him and the other prisoners as slave labour. Arya becomes Tywin's cupbearer.

    • Dany and her starving khalasar arrive at Qarth and are greeted by the Thirteen who rule the city. Xaro Xhoan Daxos, on of the Thirteen, vouches for her and they're finally allowed in.

    • At Stannis' request, Davos smuggles Mel into a cave near Renly's camp, and is horrified to watch her give birth to a shadow baby.

    Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

    • Tyrion selected Ros specifically for Joffrey because he already knew her from Winterfell, in the pilot episode.

    • Tyrion admires Sansa's insistence that she loves Joffrey, given the circumstances, and says "Lady Stark, you may survive us yet". He is one of the first people to recognise her endurance. I also think Sansa will be one of the few survivors of Season 8, so this feels extra significant.

    • When they arrive at Harrenhal, Gendry, Arya and Hot Pie look at the ruined building in awe. Arya points out that dragonfire is hot enough to melt stone. Which will probably be relevant for Season 8.

    • By the end of this episode, Arya's list consists of: "Joffrey. Cersei. Illyn Payne. The Hound. Polliver. The Mountain." She's only killed one of these people – Polliver, who she gets in Season 4.

    • Melisandre expands on the Azor Ahai prophecy and why she believes Stannis is the chosen one – because he was "born amidst salt and smoke".

    • When it looks like the Thirteen won't let her in to Qarth, Dany screams "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." Which she hasn't entirely done...yet.

    Stray observations:

    • Robb looks really good all wet.

    • I can't believe it took four whole episodes before Dany moved beyond "stranded in the desert" status.

    • Harrenhal is actually hell.

    • The Mountain is played by a new actor this season (and it isn't the last time this will happen). It's kind of jarring to see him actually have a speaking role here!

    • Tyrion is absolutely glorious in this season. He's SO good at being Hand. It is such a contrast with his failures in Season 7, and makes me even more frustrated with the latter. What happened to him?!

    Episode 5: "The Ghost of Harrenhal"

    The Big Plot Stuff:

    • Cat negotiates an alliance with Renly on Robb's behalf, and Renly says "together we could end this war in a fortnight" – just before being murdered by Stannis and Melisandre's shadow baby (nooooooo!). Brienne is accused of the murder but Cat defends her, and the two of them run away together. Brienne pledges to serve Cat in a powerful scene.

    • Loras wants to avenge Renly, but Margaery convinces him they need to return home before Stannis comes to claim the Baratheon bannermen and kill them. Margaery also admits to Littlefinger she wants to be THE queen.

    • Stannis informs Davos he'll be leading his fleet into battle, despite no experience in the area.

    • Lancel tells Tyrion that Cersei is making wildfire, and Tyrion goes to the pyromancer to find out more. He tells the pyromancer to keep making wildfire – but for him, not for Cersei.

    • Theon is given one ship to raid a small fishing village in the North, while Yara has 30 ships to take to Deepwood Motte. Theon's crew mocks him and Dagmer, his first mate, tells him they won't respect him until he proves himself.

    • Bran holds court at Winterfell and sends two orphan boys to help a farmer guard his flock. He also sends Ser Rodrik to Torrhen's Square because it's under siege (although this is just a trick from Theon so all the fighting men leave Winterfell undefended).

    • Arya bumps into Jaqen, who is now in the Lannister army, and he tells her she owes the Red God three deaths, and she can give him three names of people to kill. The first name she gives him is the Tickler. Later, she admires Gendry's ~skills~ and tells him he "should stand sideface" while practicing swordfighting, recalling her lesson from Syrio. They then discover the Tickler has been killed, and Arya is pleased with her new Jaqen-enabled power.

    • The Night's Watch arrive at the Fist of the First Men, and hardened crow Qhorin Halfhand informs them that all the wildlings have joined Mance Rayder's army and are planning to march south to find "somewhere safe". He asks Jeor for some men to go kill Mance Rayder's scouts nearby, and Jon volunteers.

    • Dany is finally clean and comfortable in Qarth. She teaches Drogon "dracarys" so he can cook his own food. Dany asks Doreah to make Xaro "happy" to learn his secrets. Later, Xaro proposes to Dany. She argues with Jorah and realises he's in love with her. He tells her she needs allies in Westeros, not Qarth, and leaves to find her a ship to transport her to Westeros asap (lol). Before he leaves, Jorah meets Quaithe, who is from Asshai like Melisandre, and wears a mask and dress with the same pattern as Melisandre's choker.

    Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

    • Lancel swears he is telling the truth to Tyrion "in the light of the Seven", which is significant given his later religious obsession.

    • Tyrion gets a glimpse of the popular story about him – that he is a "demon monkey" pulling Joffrey's strings. We'll see in later seasons that this is the widely accepted "truth" that has made it all the way to Essos.

    • Davos tells Stannis that Melisandre is dangerous, saying "nothing is worth what this will cost you, not even the Iron Throne." What he doesn't know is just how much Mel will cost Stannis – his daughter, his wife and the loyalty of his men. Davos also says, "loyal service means telling hard truths", which is what Stannis' maester said to him in the first episode of this season.

    • Bronn doesn't like the idea of wildfire, especially it's risk of, er, backfiring. "The poor c*nts trying to defend the city end up burning it down," he says. I wonder if this will come into play in Season 8? Also, the pyromancer tells Tyrion they have 7,811 jars of wildfire. I wonder how many Cersei has now?

    • Quaithe says "I'm no one." Which could mean simply that – but it reminded me of Arya becoming "no one". I wish we found out more about Quaithe in the show. She's so mysterious.

    • Brienne's pledge to Cat will be echoed in Season 6, when she likewise pledges to Sansa.

    • Bran tells Osha about a dream he had that "the sea came to Winterfell" and drowned men, including Ser Rodrik. This will come true in the very next episode.

    Stray observations:

    • If only Renly hadn't been murdered, things would have been drastically better for everyone. Except maybe the Lannisters and Stannis.

    • As much as I love that Brienne got her revenge for Renly's death by killing Stannis, it makes me sad Loras never got his. He loved Renly and it felt like the writers never knew what to do with him after Renly's death. Such a shame.

    • Jorah tells Dany she only needs one ship to travel to Westeros, and she can make allies and build a following/army there. This plan seems to be very quickly forgotten about.

    • God bless this show for forcing Gendry to smith without a shirt on for no good reason.

    Episode 6: "The Old Gods and the New"

    The Big Plot Stuff:

    • Bran wakes up to find Theon has taken Winterfell and is declaring himself a "prince" because Balon has reclaimed the king title. Theon tells Bran he must surrender Winterfell to him to keep its inhabitants safe. Bran obeys, but when Ser Rodrik returns and is captured, Theon kills him under pressure from his men. It's BRUTAL. Later, Osha seduces Theon to distract him and then escapes with Bran, Rickon, Hodor and the two direwolves.

    • Ghost wanders off, not to be seen again until Season 3. Jon meets Ygritte and can't bring himself to kill her, even though she's a wildling. She runs away and Jon manages to catch her, but he gets separated from the Halfhand and the other men he was travelling with.

    • Myrcella is sent off to Dorne, and Cersei vows to take away someone Tyrion loves in retaliation. On the way back to the Red Keep, the royal party is mobbed by the angry crowd. Sansa is almost raped, but the Hound saves her. Tyrion slaps Joffrey for being a terrible king, adding to the list of actions against Joffrey that will haunt him in future.

    • Littlefinger visits Tywin to coordinate an alliance with the Tyrells. Arya is nearly caught out but manages to get away before Littlefinger realises who she is. Arya is then busted with a paper she shouldn't have from Tywin's study, and Ser Amory Lorch almost informs Tywin, but Arya gets Jaqen to kill him just in time.

    • Cat returns to Robb's camp with Brienne just in time to learn that Theon has taken Winterfell. Robb is furious. Roose offers to send his "bastard at the dreadfort" to retake Winterfell. This is, of course, Ramsay Bolton.

    • Dany refuses Xaro's proposal, but is struggling to find support and allies in Qarth. She returns to her room to find most of the Dothraki murdered – including Irri (RIP) – and her dragons stolen.•

    Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

    • It's a throwaway line, but Jon's comment that "father always said I'm of the North" is telling. Ned knew Jon was a Targaryen. It must have been a relief to him when Jon grew up to be extremely Northern, and it makes sense that he'd play up those traits to minimise suspicion about Jon's true parentage. Also, the Halfhand's scoffing remarks that Jon doesn't know the true north echo Craster's comment that he's a "southerner" earlier in the season, and will be mirrored in a conversation Jon has with Tormund beyond the Wall in Season 7.

    • The Halfhand also says to Jon, "you can't tame a wild thing. You can't trust a wild thing." Which seems to foreshadow Jon's relationship with Ygritte – who he meets in the very next scene.

    • When a commoner throws cow shit at Joffrey, he screams "kill them! Kill them all!" It's reminiscent of the Mad King's "burn them all".

    • Xaro tells Dany she's "far too young to be a widow forever". Will she marry Jon in Season 8???

    • Similar to Bran's line earlier in the season, Dany says "I'm no ordinary woman. My dreams come true." I wish the show explored more of this side of Dany, it seems to be totally forgotten these days.

    • Sansa tells Shae she trusts her, and Shae says "don't trust anybody", which is both good advice and also super suss in light of Shae's later actions.

    Stray observations:

    • I'm not exaggerating when I saw I HOWLED at Ser Rodrik's death, especially his line "I'm off to see your father".

    • Tywin and Arya's dynamic is one of the most fascinating aspects of this season. Their scenes together really crackle. The one where Tywin talks about teaching Jaime to read, and how terrible his own father was, is particularly powerful.

    • Talisa makes a joke to Robb about being a spy, which is kind of hilarious now because it reminded me of all the theories that she really was a spy which totally went nowhere.

    • Roose's comment about the Greyjoys being "treasonous whores" is a bit freaking rich.

    • This is the episode Dany utters her (in)famous line, "WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?!??!?"

    Episode 7: "A Man Without Honor"

    The Big Plot Stuff:

    • Theon and his men search for Bran and Rickon. They find signs of them at a nearby farm, and at the end of the episode a (horrified) Theon displays the burned bodies of two boys. He leads everyone – including the audience – to believe it's Bran and Rickon, but we later find out it's the two farm boys.

    • Jon and Ygritte have to sleep close together for warmth and he gets embarrassed about his morning wood. Later, she manages to lead him into a trap, and he's captured by the wildlings.

    • At Harrenhal, dozens of Lannister soldiers are being killed as part of the investigation into Amory Lorch's assassination – which Tywin thinks was meant for him.

    • Jorah returns to Qarth after hearing of the slaughter there. Dany reveals Doreah is still missing.

    • Sansa panics about getting her period because now it means Joffrey can marry her. Shae tries to help her hide it but the Hound finds out and, presumably, tells Cersei.

    • Ser Alton Lannister, a distant cousin of Jaime, is placed in Jaime's pen at Robb's camp. Jaime kills him to draw the attention of his guard – Torrhen Karstark, who Jaime also kills, allowing him to escape. It doesn't last long, though – he's brought back that night by a bunch of furious Stark men. Lord Karstark demands justice for his dead son and tries to kill Jaime. Cat commands him to stand down and wait for Robb's return, as he is at the Crag negotiating a surrender (and spending time with Talisa). Cat realises the men will kill Jaime anyway, so she releases him and asks Brienne to take him back to King's Landing in return for Sansa and Arya's freedom.

    • In a powerful scene, Cersei admits Joffrey refuses to listen to her and starts crying. Tyrion tries to comfort her.

    • Pyat Pree, the warlock, and Xaro reveal they conspired to steal Dany's dragons. Xaro declares himself King of Qarth, and Pyat Pree murders the rest of the Thirteen. Dany flees with Jorah.

    Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

    • Theon says "Ned Stark always said 500 men could hold Winterfell against 10,000." Which makes me a LITTLE hopeful about the Battle of Winterfell in Season 8. But not very.

    • Theon also says "I'm looking at spending the rest of my life being treated like a fool and a eunuch". I see what you did there, show!

    • Jon's declaration, "I have the blood of the first men", reminded me very much of Dany saying she is "of the blood of Old Valyria".

    • Ygritte tells Jon about how the wildlings chose Mance Rayder to lead them, much like he will later be chosen as King in the North.

    • Jon tells Ygritte "I know how to do it", which echoes his earlier line to Sam of "I know where to put it". Ygritte responds with her iconic line, "you know nothing, Jon Snow." Which really sums up his character, considering all the secrets about who he is.

    • Dany says "who are my people? The Targaryens? I only knew one and it was my brother and he would have let 1000 men rape me if it had got him the crown." A big part of her character is her yearning for home, family and safety. It makes me think she'll be far more enthusiastic about Jon being a Targaryen than some might expect. He is her people.

    • Jorah finds Quaithe painting protection on a man who needs to sail past old Valyria, which foreshadows Jorah's own need for (and lack of) protection when he himself has to travel there. Quaithe also confronts Jorah, asking him if he'll betray Dany "again". He replies "never".

    • Tywin is obsessed with his legacy, and carrying on the family name. I'm pretty sure Season 8 will see the end of his family name – and his legacy – forever.

    • Arya's admiration of the Targaryen warrior queens is shown in this episode – a good indication she'll be very interested in meeting Dany.  

    • Cersei says "the more people you love, the weaker you are." She must be feeling pretty strong these days.

    • Brienne says "who wants to die defending a Lannister". Imagine if she dies defending Jaime!

    Stray observations:

    • Maybe this is just me being dense, but I never realised that the two boys Theon kills in place of Bran and Rickon are actually the orphans Bran sent to the farm earlier in the season.

    • The fact Jon knows that wildlings attacked Bran – proving he and Robb had been staying in touch – made me way too emotional.

    • Ygritte's merciless teasing of Jon is very funny. And gosh, the Iceland set is STUNNING in the scenes between them.

    • Tywin reveals in this episode he knows Arya isn't lowborn. I wonder why he never figured out who she really was, considering he knew Arya Stark was missing?

    Episode 8: "The Prince of Winterfell"

    The Big Plot Stuff:

    • Yara arrives at Winterfell and admonishes Theon for killing the Stark boys. She urges Theon to return home with her and give up Winterfell, but he refuses.

    • Luwin discovers Osha with Bran, Rickon, Hodor and the direwolves hiding out in the crypts of Winterfell.

    • Ygritte takes Jon to the Lord of Bones, who has captured the Halfhand.

    • Robb arrests Cat after learning she set Jaime free. Lord Karstark is furious his vengeance was stolen. Robb discusses Winterfell with Roose, and tells him to order his bastard to let the Ironborn go free if they surrender – except for Theon. In a moment alone with Talisa, Robb tells her he doesn't want to marry the Frey girl, and the two of them do the nasty.

    • Jaime and Brienne "bond" on the road.

    • Tywin departs Harrenhal. Arya asks Jaqen to help her and her friends escape, and when he refuses she "names" him as someone to kill. She agrees to un-name him if he helps her, and he does. He kills all the guards, and Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie are able to simply walk out of Harrenhal.

    • While digging a latrine pit (!!), Grenn stumbles upon a box with carved circular symbols on it, which contains a Night's Watch cloak full of dragonglass and a horn.

    • At King's Landing, Tyrion and Bronn prepare for a potential siege. Cersei captures Ros, believing she is Tyrion's mistress, and tells him he must keep Joffrey safe in the upcoming battle or Ros will be hurt further.

    • Stannis is a day away from King's Landing. He names Davos his Hand of the King.

    • Jorah urges Dany to flee Qarth, but she refuses to leave without her dragons, who are imprisoned in the House of the Undying.

    Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

    • Yara's entrance into the Winterfell courtyard, circling her brother on her horse, is very similar to what we see Lyanna do in a flashback in Season 6.

    • Some people believe the horn Grenn and Sam find is the Horn of Winter, which is supposedly magical and can bring down the Wall. It's never been mentioned again, however, so it's probably insignificant – in the show at least.

    • Jaqen tells Arya she "lacks honour" which is interesting, considering she takes after Ned and Jon, who are defined by their honour.

    • Cersei suspects Ros because she wears a lion necklace – we actually saw her wear this in Season 1, at Winterfell. It was Tyrion's gift to her when he was there.

    • Tyrion tells Cersei, "I will hurt you for this. The day will come when you think you are safe and happy and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth." Cersei later uses this as evidence that Tyrion killed Joffrey.

    • Shae tells Tyrion, "I'm yours and you are mine", which resembles the wedding vows of the Faith of the Seven.

    • We learn that Tywin put Tyrion in charge of the drains and cisterns at Casterly Rock when he was younger. This will be relevant in Season 7's attack on the Rock.

    • Varys informs Tyrion that Dany is alive and has three dragons. Tyrion is skeptical and at this stage Varys seems worried about Dany, which is interesting considering the two of them will later seek her out as the last hope of Westeros.

    • Dany says of her dragons, "they are my children. And they are the only children I will ever have." Which is almost definitely not true.

    Stray observations:

    • It's weird that Jaqen swears on the old gods and the new considering he only believes in one god. Also, why would Jaqen worry about his own death when he's a Faceless Man, and supposedly they see death as a gift?

    Episode 9: "Blackwater"

    The Big Plot Stuff:

    • In what is actually the first big battle of the series, we see the Battle of the Blackwater unfold from various perspectives.

    • Cersei, Sansa, and the women and children of the castle are hiding in the holdfast, with Ser Illyn there to "protect" them, but really to kill them if the battle is lost in order to prevent a worse fate. Cersei gets very drunk and very bitter. She gives Sansa some "lessons", including using what's between her legs as a "weapon". Sansa stays strong under pressure and helps calm the other women down – an early hint at her great leadership potential.

    • Tyrion sends one ship full of wildfire straight into Stannis' fleet, and Bronn shoots a fiery arrow onto it, causing it to explode. Matthos is killed and Davos is blown into the water. Stannis is okay, and determined to keep fighting. He takes his remaining soldiers on shore.•

    • The Hound forces Lancel in amongst the fighting, and he immediately gets injured and runs back inside to report to Cersei. She insists he bring Joffrey inside to safety. The Hound, meanwhile, is overwhelmed by all the fire in the battle – his greatest fear. He says "fuck the kingsguard, fuck the city, fuck the king" and yeets out of there.

    • Believing the battle is lost, Sansa runs away to her room, where she finds The Hound. He offers to take her North but unfortunately she opts to stay in King's Landing.

    • Tyrion gives a rallying speech and leads the troops in the fight against Stannis'. But one of Joffrey's kingsguard attacks Tyrion. Pod kills him and rescues Tyrion.

    • The Tyrell army, led by Tywin, arrive at the last minute, leading Stannis' army to retreat, despite Stannis' own protests.

    • Cersei sits on the throne with Tommen and is about to poison him when Loras and Tywin enter the throne room and declare the Lannisters have won after all.

    Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

    • We learn in this episode there are 50 miles of tunnels below King's Landing that the Targaryens built for an easy escape. We know Aerys Targaryen II used the tunnels to store wildfire and was going to burn the whole city down with it. Cersei did this with a portion of the city. Perhaps the tunnels will come into play again in some way in Season 8.

    • Varys hints that he has "heard things...things I wish I had not". This is a reference to what he heard in the flames when he was castrated, which is still a bit of a mystery. This conversation with Tyrion also touches on Varys' hatred of any of the "dark arts".

    • Cersei's gowns frequently have metal elements that resemble armour, but she wears a breastplate in this episode that is the most elaborate "armour" we've seen on her yet, and really brings to mind her comments to Robert in Season 1 that she should be the one wearing it – as does her statement, "I should have been born a man".

    • Cersei says "the only way to keep the small folk loyal is to make certain they fear you more than they fear the enemy". Which is another quote that perfectly sums up her ruling style.

    • Cersei also tells Tommen a story about the beasts in the forrest, saying "one day all the bests will bow to you. You will be king." Which turns out to be true. It's also interesting that Tommen almost dies because of Cersei in this episode, after a huge wildfire explosion, and then he actually dies because of Cersei's actions in another episode, after a huge wildfire explosion.

    • Lancel's injuries in this battle are a turning point for his character, and set him on the path to the Sparrows.

    Stray observations:

    • Bronn sings the "Rains of Castamere" in this episode, and we also hear it over the credits. It's not the first time we've heard it on the show, though – Tyrion has been heard whistling it repeatedly.

    • This episode reveals a lot about Cersei's character and what's shaped her, and it's fascinating to watch.

    • Oh why, why, why did Sansa not take the Hound up on his offer to help her escape?!

    • Blackwater is probably my least favourite battle episode of the series, but that wildfire explosion sure is spectacular.

    Episode 10: "Valar Morghulis"

    The Big Plot Stuff:

    • Tyrion wakes up to find he's in new chambers and is no longer the Hand of the King, since Tywin has returned. Bronn is also no longer commander of the City Watch, and the remaining hill tribesmen have gone home. Tyrion learns that Cersei apparently ordered his death. Shae wants to take Tyrion to Pentos, but he insists on staying in King's Landing because it's what he's good at.

    • Margaery offers herself to Joffrey, and he discards Sansa. Sansa is happy to be free, until Littlefinger warns that Joffrey will keep her around as a plaything. He pledges to get her home "for Cat's sake". Meanwhile, Littlefinger is rewarded Harrenhal for his part in bringing the Tyrells and Lannisters together.

    • Robb and Talisa marry in a private Faith of the Seven ceremony.

    • Varys recruits Ros to spy on Littlefinger for him.

    • Jaime flirts with Brienne, and witnesses what a great warrior she is.

    • Stannis is furious at his defeat but Melisandre insists she still sees his victory in the flames. She gets him to look into the fire – but what does he see???

    • Theon is being driven mad in Winterfell by someone outside of the gate blowing a horn. We later find out this is Ramsay Bolton. Theon gives quite a good speech and plans to go down fighting, but his men betray him and knock him out, leaving him for Ramsay Bolton. They also stab Luwin. :(

    • Bran, Rickon, Osha, Hodor and the direwolves emerge from the crypts to find Winterfell burnt and its inhabitants slain. We're led to believe it was the Ironborn that did this, but we later learn it was actually Ramsay Bolton. The gang find Luwin dying in the godswood, and they share an emotional goodbye.

    • Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie see Jaqen as they travel away from Harrenhal. Arya says she wants to learn to kill like him, and he says she needs to travel to Braavos to become a Faceless Man. She tells him she wants to find her brother, mother and sister first, and he gives her a coin and instructs her to take it to anyone from Braavos and say the words "valar morghulis" if she changes her mind. He then changes his face! Which I remember was pretty mind-blowing the first time around.

    • The Halfhand stages a fight with Jon, forcing him to kill him to prove to the wildlings that he's a "traitor" so he can go undercover with them.

    • Dany heads into the House of the Undying to retrieve her dragons. After a couple of visions she manages to find them and, on her "dracarys" command, they set Pyat Pree on fire, allowing them all to escape. Dany and her remaining Dothraki imprison Xaro and Doreah, who conspired with him, in his vault, and then loot Qarth in order to find items to sell so Dany can buy some ships.

    • Sam, Edd and Grenn are looking for fuel (read: shit) to build fires to keep warm when they hear three horn blasts – which mean White Walkers are coming. Edd and Grenn leg it and Sam gets left behind. He's soon surrounded by the army of the dead, and sees a White Walker for himself. Eek!

    Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

    • The opening shot, a close-up of Tyrion's eye, is a throwback to the opening shot of Episode 9 of Season 1, which was a similar view of Ned's eye.

    • It's kind of funny in a not-funny way that Shae wants Tyrion to escape to Pentos and he won't go, but that's exactly where he heads after murdering Shae two seasons later.

    • Jaime says he is "strong enough" to be with Brienne. Sexually. Ahem. I can't be the only one hoping this ship sails in Season 8???

    • When Luwin tells Theon to run away to the Wall, Theon refuses. He says "I’d be a coward. The Greyjoy who ran. The shame of the family." In Season 7, he runs away and is branded a coward after all.

    • Melisandre says to Stannis: "The war has just begun. It will last for years. Thousands will die at your command. You will betray men serving you. You will betray your family. You will betray everything you once held dear. And it will be worth it. Because you are the son of fire, you are the warrior of will be king." Well, she was half right.

    • Dany's House of the Undying vision is quite a doozy. She first enters the Red Keep's throne room, but it's damaged, with its ceiling apparently crumbling (perhaps as a result of fire?). It's snowing, and the throne is covered. This could foreshadow the fact that Jon Snow is heir to the throne – or perhaps a White Walker victory. In the vision, Dany approaches the throne, but turns away at the last minute. She goes through a door and finds herself beyond the Wall, where she enters a tent and sees Drogo holding Rhaego. They share a touching moment and Dany repeats Mirri Maz Duur's prophecy about when Drogo will return to her – when "the sun rises in the west and sets in the east...the rivers run dry and the mountains blow in the wind like leave." She's tempted to stay with the man she loves and her child, but she forces herself to leave, and it's only then that she finds her dragons.

    • Here are my thoughts on this vision: I think this has come to pass already. In Season 7, Dany arrives in Westeros ready to reclaim the throne. But just when she is getting close, she turns away to go North with Jon. She heads beyond the Wall, and has to leave behind the man she loves (Jon) and her child (Viserion). Crucially, Jon comes back to her. I think this fulfils not only the House of the Undying vision but also Mirri Maz Duur's prophecy – which is perhaps what enables Dany to finally get pregnant once again.

    Stray observations:

    • This episode highlights some Stark men doing some pretty reprehensible things. It works to show it's not all black and white/goodies and baddies.

    • Luwin's death absolutely destroyed me.

    • n the shot of Bran, Rickon, Hodor, Osha, Summer and Shaggydog leaving Winterfell, I realised Bran is the only one left alive. Which is pretty depressing.

    • There are so many wildlings in this episode! It's really shocking how few are left, looking back.

    • The fact that the birth of the dragons awakened the warlocks' magic made me wonder if they played a part in the rise of the White Walkers.

    • Speaking of the White Walkers – they already have a pretty big army here, it seems. What have they been waiting for all this time?! The dragons?!

    That's a wrap on Season 2! Usually it's one of my least fave seasons, but I really enjoyed it this time.

    Stay tuned for my rewatch of Season 3. In the meantime, you might like to check out:

    The theory about Dany being pregnant

    Everything you need to know about how Jon and Dany are related

    Theories about the prince that was promised