Winter never really came to New York City this year, but spring is here and that means one thing: the return of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Finally! I can’t wait to get back to the world of Westeros and see if the TV adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s A Clash of Kings goes as largely great as the first ASoIaF novel.
Because I took to the novels so quickly, the events of A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords tend to blur together in my mind a bit. But after a refresher, here’s a list of the five things I can’t wait to see in season two of Game of Thrones.
5) Jaime Lannister
Jaime, captured at Riverrun, remained on the sidelines for the bulk of A Clash of Kings, but I can’t imagine they’d do that to actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. So what’s in store for the Kingslayer after Catelyn frees him? Will he make it through the season all in one piece? I can think of few other moments in Jaime’s story that made me think “season finale material right here.”
4) The House of the Undying.
With her brother, husband, and son all dead, Daenerys has nothing left but a ragged band of followers and her three newborn dragons. After much wandering, she at last comes to the city of Qarth and within it, a temple. No matter how corrupt the priests may be, their prophecies foreshadow many of the events in the series. Every fan seems to have their own theories on what some of the strange images mean (a blue flower in the Wall? Lyanna’s son Jon Snow?) so it will be interesting to see what the showrunners interpret and how they choose to represent this big defining moment for Dany visually.
3) Renly’s shadow.
I almost replaced this with Melisandre giving birth to another murderous shadow in Storm’s End, but I don’t think that’s the kind of thing one looks forward to actually watching. (Just ask Davos.) Honestly, I can’t wait to see Renly’s wedding night with new bride Margaery, who also happens to be the sister of Renly’s boyfriend. We all knew why their marriage was unconsummated, but HBO’s been much more explicit than the books. I wonder if they will play it seriously or for laughs? I’m also really looking forward to meeting Renly’s other shadow, Brienne. I can’t wait for the spooky scene that leaves the clash short one king and puts Catelyn Stark and The Maid of Tarth on the run.
2) The Ghost of Harrenhal
Arya has always been one of my favorite characters in the books and her chapters were my favorite in A Clash of Kings because of her dogged determination to survive no mater what horrors come. And the horrors keep coming and coming. When the bad times only start with Gregor Clegane, you know you’re in for it. At Harrenhal, overrun with Amory Lorch’s men and the Bloody Mummers, Arya’s bargain with released prisoner Jaqen H’ghar was equal parts shock and smart. Little children shouldn’t have to be so devious, but Arya’s cunning use of the last “wish” on her hit list was a classic turnaround on her creepy as hell genie. From the mouths of babes… “Valar morghulis.”
1) “One… Two… Three.”
The Hand of the King doesn’t seem to stick around long, but if anyone can handle the least-coveted job in King’s Landing, it’s Tyrion Lannister. I particularly loved the chapter where Tyrion arranges a Dornish marriage for Myrcella while springing a trap for Maester Pycelle, Littlefinger, and Varys. Unlike honorable but dumb Ned Stark, Tyrion is right at home among this den of snakes and instantly plays to his rivals’ flaws. I can’t wait to see Tyrion’s smugness—and frustration—as he tries to reign in his snot-nosed nephew Joffrey and clear out the castle’s biggest rats. And prepare for one hell of a heated battle. With Sean Bean gone from the cast, I think we can finally admit that this was Peter Dinklage’s show all along.
What are you hoping to see this season? Do you think the Battle of Blackwater can be pulled off on a TV show budget? (Rome fans, now would be a time to speak up.) Sound off in the comments.
Game of Thrones premieres April 1st at 9PM E/PT on HBO.