Yesterday HBO went on a publicity rampage and released 17 new stills from season 2 of its smash hit Game of Thrones. Although we already have two trailers, these are the first official images we have gotten for season 2, and they could not look better!
Since this season is based off the second book in George R.R. Martin’s saga called Clash of Kings, lets start with the various Kings battling for the throne…
First up: The King in Highgarden, Renly Baratheon
Played by Gethin Anthony, Renly looks absolutely perfect. In this image you can see his epic crown (a circlet of stag horns which is an obvious homage to the Baratheon house heraldry). Also, right behind his right shoulder is a bowl of fruit which seems to contain at least one peach Those of you who haven’t read the books will find out what that means soon enough 😉
The King on the Iron Throne, Joffrey Baratheon (aka The Little Shit)
Played by Jack Gleeson, Joffrey looks as evil as ever. He really does have a face that just begs to be punched, which is exactly how is should be. His clothes look wonderfully sumptuous and the throne is, of course, still incredibly bad-ass.
The King in the North, Robb Stark
Played by the gorgeous Richard Madden, Robb is simply awesome. The costume definitely seems more kingly this season, which is of course fitting for his new title. His face is more serious and stoic, recognizing the burden he now bears.
Finally, two brand new characters: The King in the Narrow Sea, Stannis Baratheon and his Red Priestess, Melisandre
Mel is played by Carice van Houten and Stannis by Stephen Dillane. All I can say is WOW! I was really nervous to see Melisandre in particular because her look is so distinctive in the books, but the showrunners really captured it. She is fiery and fierce, but not outlandish or over the top. Stannis is also perfectly gray and somber. He looks grumpy and hopelessly serious, just how it should be.
Onto the new characters…
First up is The Onion Knight, Davos Seaworth
Played by Liam Cunningham, Davos again is just about perfect. Obviously we don’t see his fingerless hand here, but it has been confirmed by the actor that the show kept that detail in. In the background we can see some of Stannis’ soldiers.
The Reaper of Pyke, Balon Greyjoy
Played by Patrick Malahide, our first look of Theon’s father is, to be honest, a little underwhelming. He just looks kind of sad and unassuming, not the fearless leader of the Iron Islands. The best part of this image is the fireplace in the background whose stone seems to have been carved into a giant Kraken (the heraldry of House Greyjoy).
Brienne of Tarth
Played by Gwendoline Christie, all I can say is that I literally squealed when I saw this image for the first time. She was far and away the character I was most nervous the show would get wrong. In the Game of Thrones fandom, Brienne is among the most loved characters and it was imperative for the show not to screw her up. She needed to be big, ugly, strong, shy, but still female… and I must say they more than pulled it off. She is beyond perfection
Now to the Two Queens…
First up is The Queen Mother, Cersei Lannister
Played by Lena Heady, Cersei’s perma-scowl is back! That stank face is just amazing. The wig looks significantly better this season, and the gown is beyond gorgeous.
The Queen in the Desert, Daenerys Targaryen
Played by Emilia Clarke, Dany has obviously fallen onto hard times. She looks parched and weak as she struggles in the endless desert. I have to say that her wig also looks better and that even at her worst, she still looks beautiful. But where are the dragons?
Everyone’s favorite family, The Starks…
First up is the one left in Kings Landing, Sansa Stark
I already know that Sophie Turner will break my heart this season. Sansa suffers an enormous amount in Book 2 and it doesn’t look like the show is shying away from her torture. Amid the heartbreaking circumstances I have to say that her costume is actually really pretty. Her storyline is one I’m awaiting anxiously.
Arya Stark becomes Arry the Orphan Boy
Played by Maisie Williams, I don’t even recognize her! This is a tremendous transformation for Arya and the show does is more than justice. She really does look like a boy and major props to Maisie for actually cutting all her hair off, that is dedication. Arya is shown holding onto her most prized possession, Needle. In the background we can actually see Lommy Hands, Hot Pie, and Gendry sleeping.
The Widow, Catelyn Stark
Played by Michelle Fairley, Catelyn looks sad but unwavering. Her strength is something to be admired, but maybe not her costume. What an ugly collar :/ It really ages her and not in a good way.
The Stark in Winterfell, Bran Stark and HODOR
Played by Isaac Hempstead-Wright and Kristian Nairn respectively, this is a pairing we saw towards the end of last season and it looks like nothing much has changed. I worry that in the later seasons Isaac will grow too tall or too heavy for Kristian to carry him. But for now, they look spot on.
Finally, my personal favorites…
The new Hand of the King, Tyrion Lannister
Now famously played by the Emmy and Golden-Globe winning actor Peter Dinklage, Tyrion looks just as cunning as ever. It’s nice to see him wearing the Hand of King sigil and, of course, drinking. There really isn’t much else to say other than his role this season is probably the biggest out of the entire cast. He takes the lead spot from Ned Stark (RIP) so for all you Tyrion fans, get ready for more one-liners and brilliant acting.
Finally, my favorite character, Jon Snow
*Sigh* isn’t Kit Harington gorgeous? Ok, enough fangirling… Back to the image. Well it’s obvious that Jon is beyond the Wall here, in the vast wilderness of the north. He is wearing is all black uniform and looking rather sullen. His hair is pretty fantastic I must say, all wind swept and curly (sorry couldn’t help myself). He looks cold, really cold. There is definitely something brewing in the unending white… But what?
Tune into HBO on April 1st at 9 P.M. to find out
In all seriousness, these images gives me immense hope for the upcoming season. The anticipation just keeps building and the vast majority of promotions released have been unreal in their perfection. 50 days to go…
UPDATE: For more fan reactions to the images head on over to WinterisComing.net