After watching the first episode of Game of Thrones in entirety, I was on the fence of giving his show up. I didn't fall off the fence...yet.
Episode 2: "The Kingsroad"
So this episode...is a lot better than the first one and much more easy to follow along.
What strikes me is how much more coherent the second episode is than the previous one. The first episode was supposed to be full of character establishing moments, but it threw too many people, terms, and places at us at once. Here, we have an actual plot and a concrete theme of the episode. "Hold on tight to your family, because a divided house cannot stand."
This time we still don't get any undead horror action, but we also don't get as much gratuitous sex. The character interactions, which came across as flippant in the previous episode, are done with more care here now that there isn't the visceral imagery to distract the viewer. A lot of the violence done is less over the top, albeit no less brutal. In fact, they're more effective because of discretion shots and restraints by comparison to the excessive pilot. Even the sex scenes we do get push the plot and character development forward, sowing seeds of how a victim can gain agency in even the worst predicament.
Plus, we get our proper introduction to Joffrey. Given how much people have talked about the character, I know he gets worse, but I'll be honest, I don't see as what he did was all that bad in this episode. He gets slapped around by his uncle, is bitten by a direwolf everyone knows shouldn't have been raised as a dog in the first place, and has his authority undermined. Sansa's bratty sister (whose name I still don't remember) was supposed to be a host. He was a jerk and a bit of a bully, but what followed was inhospitality. Right now, I'm Team Joffrey, even if he is a liar.
Heck, he's more an interesting character than his mother and other uncle who are just self-serving incestuous jerks.
I'm a little thrown off by the whole "Jon Snow" plot thread. In fact, there's obviously something off about this whole Jon Snow "bastard" situation, especially with Ned clamming up when the King asked him about the mother. Is his mother one of those people from the clan who the King hated? I would think not since this guy has pitch black hair while those people have light hair, but who knows with this show? Or maybe the "bastard" story is a coverup and the boy is stolen from his people. Maybe he's one of those kids from those celibate-in-name-only wall folk. Or maybe Snow's mammy drugged and had her way with Ned.
Other random notes:
- Bran's still alive, Horray for infant immortality!
- Mama Stark defending against that assassin makes me glad I don't have kids, because I could never do what she did in defense of a child.
- The King clearly knows his boy ain't right, but can't prove it either.
- Interesting how Ned's daughter went missing and immediately, then both Ned and the King turned around to find her, so there was no need to send word after him.
Had I judged the show by the first episode alone, I'd have run the other way. The second episode is so much better to the point where I might find myself enjoying this show in time.