"Game of Thrones," Season 2, Episode 9

Season 2, Episode 9


  • Courtesy of HBO
  • THIS BETTER NOT GIVE ME HELMET-HAIR: Peter Dinklage as Tyrion

Boom. "Blackwater," the long-awaited, penultimate episode of "Game of Thrones" second season, explosively made good on the promise of HBO's epic fantasy series. Despite funding "Game of Thrones," HBO apparently isn't as rich as a Lannister, so even though the show primarily depicts a sprawling medieval-style war, budgetary reasons keep the clashing armies off-stage. It's like "Game of Thrones" April 2011 debut lit a fuse that, after 18 episodes and more than a year, finally ignited the bomb. Or, more appropriately, the napalm dragonfire. Directed by Centurion's Neil Marshall and scripted by George R.R. Martin himself, "Blackwater" not only delivered the spectacle, it retained the emotional weight that gives the show such an impact. It also harks back to the era of sprawling TV miniseries like "Shogun" and "The Winds of War," when the big three networks ruled the broadcast kingdom.

"Blackwater" takes place over the course of a single night in King's Landing and the surrounding bay, surrounding the troops of both sides with a literal fog of war. An early scene on Davos' invading ship sets the tone of pre-battle terror as a soldier vomits in the hold, presumably due to nerves and not sea-sickness. Davos has a nice scene with his religious son, who says he has "faith in the Lord of Light, faint my the men and faith in my Captain," the latter part affectionately referring to his Dad. Davos' son isn't just a religious zealot.