Two Game of Thrones creators have apologized for a scene in the show’s first season that show’s the head of former U.S. president George W. Bush on a stake. “It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement,” they said. “We just had to use whatever head we had around.”
“War is Coming” is the Season 2 tagline, and it certainly is. But before we get there, the stories explore the arcs that have made it so compelling from the beginning — family rivalry, power struggles, grief and loss. Peter Dinklage takes on a bigger role as Tyrion Lannister arrives in King’s Landing to govern as Hand of the King in the absence of his father, who is off in the battlefields. Tyrion has no love for his evil nephew/monarch, and his cool relationship with his sister Cersei, Joffrey’s mother, quickly becomes icy cold. These are brilliant scenes — the wry dark wit of Tyrion, so able to push the buttons of his humourless bitch of a sister, right up until she reminds him that his cruelest joke was killing their mother in childbirth. Illustration by Steve Murray
When I started reading A Game of Thrones, the first novel in George R.R. Martin’s epic, big-book Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, my favourite character was the 14-year-old Jon Snow. I liked his pluck, and I thought ultimately he would turn out to be the hero of the whole thing. The note inside the dust jacket said that the next book in the trilogy would be out next year. It was early 1997. I was 16.