Game of Thrones Season Two, Episode 10 – Valar Morghulis
Directed by Alan Taylor
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
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
When I reviewed the Season 1 finale of Game of Thrones, I felt that episode played more like the first episode of the second season, more than it felt like a closer. There were too many hanging plots, with few elements drawing to a close. In retrospect, part of that feeling may have come from the fact that I truly felt that Ned Starks’ death would have been an amazing way to end the season, but I understand wanting to provide some sense of finality to that first season and Ned’s death would not have been the way to accomplish that goal.
After “Blackwater” last week, I was concerned that the show might pull the same trick twice (considering the ending structure for both Season 1 and Season 2 played out in a similar fashion – huge, event, water-cooler worthy penultimate episode, followed by a slower, picking up the pieces episode to close out the season). However, I was glad to see the show draw some of the various plots to pause, rather than an end.