'Game of Thrones' promises an excellent second season
"Game of Thrones" returned Sunday, which means television just got more exciting.
The premiere picks up almost immediately after the first season ended, so there's very little detail to fill in.
As a result, the episode avoids a lot of exposition that bogged down the early episodes, because the showrunners trust us to know characters, places and motivations now that we're entrenched in 10 hours of this world.
It does appear that they've learned something about exposition, because we're introduced to Stannis Baratheon and his band of outsiders, but there isn't a long-winded speech intimating the particulars of their origins ("Game of Thrones" became notorious last season for having characters divulge their secrets while naked and post-coitus - there was coitus this week but it was brief).
The story arc, without spoiling too much, is breaking much like last season's setup, so characters' motivations appear intact, beside the major development of King Joffrey being outed by Stannis as an incestuous product. Everything is a natural progression, so fans of season one can look forward to a seamless season two - an exciting prospect for TV fans.
The great thing about what's occurring in Westeros is that everyone is concerned with the fact King Joffrey is a ruthless travesty as King, so armies keep swelling to take the throne, yet Westeros is fundamentally flawed and the position of king is deadweight.
Powerful deadweight, but still, the structure is failing. Not only is the multi-faceted power struggle fascinating, but also the dirty little secret that the throne is tainted to whomever seeks it.
"Game of Thrones" is on HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m.
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