As exciting and eventful as the first season of Game of Thrones was, a good percentage of it was just buildup.
The first season of Game of Thrones introduced a handful of vivid characters — many of whom the viewer never actually met. The most notable example is Stannis Baratheon, brother of the late King Robert and Renly Baratheon. With the secret about the present King Joffrey’s bloodline inching closer to the public eye, Stannis has been mentioned, and promoted by Ned Stark, as the rightful heir to Robert’s throne. On the topic…
The Revelation of Joffrey’s True Father
Sure, the viewer knows who Joffrey’s real father is, but hardly anyone else seems to. And once this closely guarded secret slips out of the grasp of his mother, Cersei Lannister, the entire kingdom will be thrown into chaos. As it stands, the Lannisters are a family of power and respect. But there were hints all throughout Season One that the clan is in for some approaching peril.
Beyond the Wall
There were glimpses of the world beyond the wall, but nothing that came close to the ominous reputation built up around this vast, supernatural wasteland. Many a viewer can’t wait to see Jon Snow and his ruffian misfits traverse into these territories.
When you watch the first few minutes of Game of Thrones pilot, you might conclude that it’s a show about people coming back from the dead. Because, in the first few minutes of the pilot, that’s the primary focus. But here’s the kicker: through the entire first season, you only see this happen one other time. It’s actually pretty easy to forget that this is a universe in which dead people rise up and take revenge on the living, considering how grounded and human the characters are. But it’d be nice to get a more consistent taste of this supernatural element come Season Two.
The Three-Eyed Crow
After Bran Stark was paralyzed, he began having nebulous, occult dreams about a three-eyed crow guiding him to his family burial ground. The viewer never learned the meaning of the dreams — although it seems that they bear some kind of precognitive power. Will the viewer be seeing more of Bran exploring his mystical visions in Season Two? It seems likely — hopefully.
Beyond the new characters, the rise of the dead, the downfall of an empire, the upsurge of another, the explanation of the dreams or anything else, the most exciting element that Game of Thrones has just got to explore in Season Two is the dragons. At the end of Season One, the dragon race was revived after centuries of presumed extinction — for a split second before the final credits rolled: just long enough to get the viewer amped, but not quite long enough to give anything away. And now, Game of Thrones is entering a whole new era. Dragons will reign supreme once again. What this means for the human race is ambiguous at this point. But what it means for the viewer is pure joy.
Game of Thrones returns Sunday, April 1 at 9 PM ET/PT on HBO.