By Anthony Medina
**Be aware this review contains spoilers**
Season 2 Episode 9
“Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let’s go kill them.” – Tyrion Lannister
All season long fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones waited for a big flashy battle to satisfy an ever growing blood lust. Episode 9 entitled “Blackwater” finally delivers. But can a TV show budget really do justice to an epic battle? Can it meet our high and often unreasonable expectations?
Apparently the answer is an epic and wild fire fueled YES! This episode was an instant classic and delivered on just about every level. The scenery was beautiful, the effects were flawless, the characters were both depressing and inspirational, and most importantly the dialogue was immensely clever and memorable.
We open on the naval fleet of Stannis Baratheon (Stephan Dillane) as they make their way across Blackwater Bay. In King’s Landing, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) makes the necessary preparations for the defense of the city. It’s clear however, that they will be vastly outnumbered and are likely to lose. Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), who will spend the majority of this episode drunk and bitter, makes her own preparations securing a vile of poison to ensure she is not taken alive. Lastly, we see Sansa Stark (Sophia Turner) who throws a few veiled insults at King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and goes to stay with the other high born ladies during the battle.
As the ships approach the two sides play music at each other (a great little scene) and Tyrion launches his first assault. Wildfire. The sea lights up with an enormous explosion of magical green fire. However, this only takes out the first wave and soon Stannis himself is leading the charge. What follows is a truly epic battle with all the blood and gore you could possibly want. Eventually, the Lannister forces are driven back and King Joffrey (the little bastard) runs away to his Keep. It’s now up to Tyrion to lead the remaining soldiers in a final stand against the invaders.
They charge out in full force but are unable to stop the horde of enemy soldiers. In the fighting Tyrion is injured (by one of his own men) and collapses to the ground. Just when it seems like all hope is lost. Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) rides in with House Tyrell at his side. They beat back the invading forces and Stannis is dragged away from the battle still screaming at his troops to stand and fight. Lannister’s win.
This episode was AWESOME. But it’s not just the fight scenes that were amazing. Inside the castle, the increasingly drunk Cersei Lannister reveals quite a bit in her conversations with Sansa Stark. Cersei seems to reach out to Sansa but can’t help showing her bitterness and resentment. As much as people will talk about Tyrion in this episode, Cersei will not be far behind.
It’s important to note that “Blackwater” was written by George R. R. Martin, the genius author of the Ice and Fire novels which spawned this televised masterpiece. And anyone familiar with his work can see the clear Martinesque style wit present in the dialogue making the conversations and speeches even more memorable then all the flashy special effects.
I couldn’t possibly say enough good things about this episode and it instantly jumped up to be my personal favorite of the entire series. And if somehow you managed to not like this episode, then clearly you’re worse then Hitler, there I said it.
Thinking Man Rating: 10/10