Game of Thrones Season Two, Episode 9 – Blackwater
Directed by Neil Marshall
Written by George R.R. Martin
Starring Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Carice van Houten, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
I feel like the phrase ‘event television’ is a bit of a misnomer. Very few shows ever fully rise to that title. In fact, the only show I feel that’s ever fully risen to event TV is Lost. After a new episode, it was talked about for days on end.
I don’t think there’s a show that’s lived up to those expectations and level of hysteria and hype. The most recent Game Of Thrones episode, “Blackwater,” is the answer to those expectations.
For weeks now, HBO has been building up this ninth episode to be this epic event. Stories have been told about the production behind it, how HBO gave extra money for this episode specifically in order to make sure it was done properly, thus creating a legend equal to the episode itself.
Everything came together in such a perfect way, as the pieces have been falling into place for weeks now. In fact, it seems that the entire season (and I’m sure there’s an argument that can be made for the entire series) has led up to this moment.
But the battle itself played out in such a satisfying way. Each side has their moment. The George R.R. Martin-penned episode never shows that one specific side has an advantage over another. It’s a back-and-forth battle that’s bloody and intense, creating a truly thrilling episode.
Going into this episode, I was worried that it would focus too much on the battle and forgo the characters. Game of Thrones has always done a great job of providing rich and dynamic characters and I didn’t want that to go away for the sake of a large battle episode. I was beyond surprised to see both an incredible battle and terrific character work for every major player in King’s Landing.
“Blackwater” is event television. It’s an epic battle that will be remembered as one of the standout episodes of the series. I truly hope the episode was as satisfying for fans of the books as it was for me, and I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on how it did or didn’t live up to expectations set forth by the books.
– For those wondering, The National, one of my favorite bands, sang the ending ballad “The Rains of Castamere.” For those who have read the book, I don’t know what your personal take on the song is, but for me, lead singer Matt Berninger‘s vocals were the perfect match as this song drew the episode to a close.
– This week, I encourage everyone to comment and have some real discussion about the episode. I feel this episode is so large (and so exceptional) that there’s a lot to talk about. I’m really interested to get some feedback from you all on this one.