Fantasy epic TV series Game of Thrones is back this week (1st April) for a second season and has become a cult hit. The show has been adapted from A Song of Ice and Fire seven book series following seven noble families fighting to rule Westeros and its already one of the most anticipated British dramas of recent years.
Since the first season was shown, word has spread and ratings have gone up 74 per cent from last year’s debut. Social networking sites worked overdrive to keep up with the demand of online chatter as Get Glue temporarily crashed during the premier.
Game of Thrones resumes in the wake of the King’s death as the country has splintered into factions vying for the Throne or one of their own. It seems everyone believes they have a rightful claim to be King, with war on the horizon.
The former King’s “son”, Joffrey Baratheon is a petulant, arrogant and heartless young man who was the product of incest, between his mother and her brother. Therefore he has no blood right to the throne yet season 2 begins with King Joffrey and the audience long for his bloody downfall.
The first season hit the first domino towards war as the truth-speaking and loyal Northern protector, Eddard Stark uncovered the true parentage of Joffrey and was put to death as a traitor because of this knowledge. Stark’s noble and honourable family declare the North a sovereign nation and march south to gain their independence, their father’s bones and their two sisters who had been left with their father.
New to the show is the King’s brother estranged brother, as Stark had told him about Joffrey before being silenced. He is being wooed and corrupted by a flame haired sorceress, promising bloodshed and moral corruption. While the King’s youngest brother, who hides his true sexuality, is also rallying an army though he is yet to make an appearance in this season.
Then we have the return of the underdog and fan favourite, the Khaleesi. Daenerys Targaryen was exiled as a child after her father was dethroned and is the true blood heir. Though the Khaleesi has lost her strong followers and is trapped in the desert, she has secret weapons but it’s unsure if she’ll survive long enough to use them.
You also have the real North, beyond a wall of ice guarded by the Watch, full of wildlings and dangerous mythical creatures. The unknown land where a King is rising in the harsh land as winter is coming after years of summer. There are even more new and exciting characters who have only been hinted at, like the pirates: who want to rule the Iron Isles, where you pay in iron not in gold. Though they make their first appearance in the second episode, showing how distinct each group is and how different.
The show has become very complicated indeed. The different politics and forms of ruthlessness which are rife in almost every group, make it difficult to choose sides. For newcomers to Game of Thrones the show will be confusing and they will miss vital hints to other factions so go out and watch the first series asap. For fans, however, this will just keep them gripped to their seats and salivating for more because you see so little of each family that everything is edging forward at a snails pace and building up the anticipation even more.