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Burdened with character and plot reintroductions, "Dark Wings, Dark Words" starts slow before revving up and delving into the real intrigues of the season.
These early-season episodes tend to be about cautiously positioning strands of plot like the first moves in an elaborate game of chess. Yet the action still moved along briskly enough.
If the opening episode of Season Three of "Game of Thrones" was mostly talking, Episode Two is mostly walking, though it sets a brisk pace and there's a lot to see along the way.
I am bothered when the writers try to shove too many story lines into a single episode, leaving it overburdened and punchless.
Several of the major characters have found a new bestie in this episode, and these first-timers are played by some of our favorite "Oh yeah, that guy!" Brits.
"Dark Wings, Dark Words," catches us up with the remaining characters not featured in the inaugural episode and moves the story forward in a more decided fashion.
Last night, the relentless, unforgiving slog of story reminded me of the Night's Watch's torturous death march toward The Wall.
Her [Marge] seduction of him [Joffrey] ... is among the most memorable, and disturbing, scenes of this young season.
I appreciate the slow burn, though I confess that I thirst for a bit more action now and again.
Lots happened this week. Too much, perhaps?
This episode was mostly talking, and there were no boobies, no dragons, and no one was murdered. But we did get a little bit of gross torture, so that's cool, and fortunately there was plenty of political intrigue.
Game of Thrones is back in fighting shape after a bit of a lull last week as HBO's epic fantasy rose sleepily from its hibernation to reintroduce us to its web of plots, sub-plots, and its myriad characters.
A lot of exposition this week touching on a lot of stories after a more restrained premiere, but still a strong episode.