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Recapping the deaths of Game of Thrones season two – Beyond the Wall

Every week Bob and Ivey look at 'Game of Thrones' from the book readers' perspective (so beware of spoilers). This week we take a look at the deaths of season two.

Season two of Game of Thrones may be over, but there is still a lot more to talk about, we aren’t close to being done.

As always, this column looks at the series with a book reader’s perspective, so spoilerphobes, turn back now!


With the season over, I thought we could take a look back at some of the deaths from season two. Sort of like one of those “in memoriam” segments from an awards show, but with a lot less reverence. After all, these are fictional deaths, and while I would be horrified in real life, watching Lommy get stabbed in the throat was pretty awesome — you know, in a storytelling, shock value, scandalous sort of way.

The biggest death of the year clearly had to be Renly. I don’t think there’s any question there, and I’m not sure there’s a whole lot to say about it. It had the most plot ramifications, but it certainly didn’t have the emotional impact of a death like Luwin’s, or a look-away-in-horror impact like Rodrik’s terribly inefficient beheading.

When you look back on the season, what corpses stand out in your mind?


Well, the “biggest” death, at least as far as the game of thrones goes in Game of Thrones has to be Renly. Primarily because of the political impact; but also because of magical implications. Sure, last season gave us dragons, but the birth of Melisandre’s shadow baby marked the moment when viewers – and readers in the novels – started to figure out exactly how weird this land of Westeros might just be.

As far as emotional impact goes, though, I have to point to Maester Luwin. You and I both had theorized with the Reeds missing in the second season, that he might actually survive to be the one to shepherd Rickon when he and Bran separated. I was heartbroken when he caught a seemingly pointless spear to the gut from Dagmer Cleftjaw.

Of all of the other deaths this season, the one that stuck with me the most, surprisingly was Brienne’s killing of the three Stark men on the road in the finale. First, because it cemented Brienne’s independence from Robb’s command, as she serves only Cat. But it also heralded a significant change in her character from the book. It is much deeper into the story, in A Feast for Crows, when Brienne finally participates in mortal combat, and when she does, she is less ready for the act of taking a life than she expected. TV series Brienne’s vindictive killing of the third man – painfully slow – will alter her perception in the viewers eyes, but more importantly, Jaime Lannister’s as well.


Luwin’s death was heartbreaking and I was much more moved by it than I thought, and I knew it was coming. I see what you are saying about Brienne, but I’m not sure how big of a difference it will make moving forward. I thought it was in character for her, even if things did go down very differently in the novels.

In terms of bad-assery there were some great deaths in Qarth. One of the few surprising moments in the show for those of use who have read the novels was Pyat Pree and Xaro Xhoan Daxos’s power play and the brutal throat-slitting of the remainder of the Thirteen. I thought it was one of the better moments of the season. Speaking of Pyat Pree, he certainly went out in style, twitching on the floor of the House of the Undying as his corpse burned away. It was a great moment for Dany, and it showed her strength, as well as some of the power of the Dragons. Of course, you really got to see her strength, and mercilessness, when she locked Xaro and Doreah in that vault. We may not have seen them die, but …


I don’t know … the scene with the Thirteen didn’t resonate with me nearly as much as it did with you. Maybe because it reminded me so much of a similar scene on Battlestar Galatica. Or, perhaps its because I care so little for the Qarth storyline.

One of the scenes that I remember you looking forward to a great deal was the riot in the streets of King’s Landing. This scene was one of the few things on those lists that turned out nearly exactly as they did in the book. Specifically, the dismemberment of the High Septon was there. We’d not really spent that much time with him as a character, but I think viewers had a feel for what he represented. Regardless of our familiarity with him, watching the crowd rip his arm off and hoist it in the air? Very badass.


Yes, there’s nothing like ripping the arm off a living body to scream Emmy! Tyrion had some nice kills in the battlefield too, how about hacking that one dude’s leg off? Halfman!

We’re forgetting one of the more pivotal deaths of the season, and one that was pretty gruesome in its own right. How about Jon shoving a sword straight through the torso of Qhorin Halfhand? Has he switched sides? Is he that hungry for a little red-headed wildling? Is there more at play? You and I know the answers … and I think clever watchers probably do as well.

But let’s face facts. These are all going to pale in comparison to what’s in store for season three!


Yeah, you’re right. It’s a shame though. I was hoping that season three might bring some happy stories. Characters reunited, that kind of thing. Maybe even a wedding. Weddings are great fun, full of music and frivolity.


Frivolity … Yes. …

Photo Credit: Paul Schiraldi

2 Responses to “Recapping the deaths of Game of Thrones season two – Beyond the Wall”

June 13, 2012 at 8:42 PM

You should also consider Winterfell’s (yes, the city) dead… One of the scenes that must impacted me when I read the books, and was hoping to see on the series was of Winterfell ‘dead’, that is, destroyed… and so it was… :’-(

June 13, 2012 at 10:28 PM

An excellent point, and another reason why my dream of seeing Luwin live past this season was folly: Luwin is as connected to Winterfell as any of the living Starks.

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