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Game of Thrones (season 2)
StarringSee List of Game of Thrones cast
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes10
Original networkHBO
Original releaseApril 1 –
June 3, 2012
Season chronology
Season 1
List of Game of Thrones episodes

The second season of the fantasydrama television series Game of Thrones premiered in the United States on HBO on April 1, 2012, and concluded on June 3, 2012. It was broadcast on Sunday at 9:00 pm in the United States, consisting of 10 episodes, each running approximately 50–60 minutes. The season mostly covers the events of A Clash of Kings, the second novel of the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, adapted for television by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. HBO ordered the second season on April 19, 2011, which began filming in July 2011, primarily in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Croatia and Iceland.

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The story takes place in a fictional world, primarily on a continent called Westeros, with one storyline occurring on another continent to the east known as Essos. Like the novel, the season follows the dramatic death of Lord Eddard 'Ned' Stark, with all of the Starks being separated across Westeros. Season two mainly centers around the War of the Five Kings, fought between the leaders of Westerosi factions who are either staking a claim on the Iron Throne, or seeking independence from it. Meanwhile, in Essos, with three newborn dragons by her side, Daenerys Targaryen struggles to find allies to help her on her way to take back the Iron Throne.

Game of Thrones features a large ensemble cast, including Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Michelle Fairley and Emilia Clarke. The season introduced a number of new cast members, including Stephen Dillane, Natalie Dormer, Carice van Houten and Liam Cunningham.

Critics praised the show's production values and cast. Viewership rose compared to the previous season. The second season won six of the twelve Emmy Awards for which it was nominated. It received a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Peter Dinklage) and Outstanding Drama Series. U.S. viewership rose by approximately 8% over the course of the season, from 3.9 million to 4.2 million by the season finale.

  • 2Cast
    • 2.1Main cast
    • 2.2Guest cast
  • 3Production
  • 4Reception
  • 5Release


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
111'The North Remembers'Alan TaylorDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissApril 1, 20123.86[1]
To Cersei's dismay, Tyrion becomes acting Hand of the King at King's Landing. At Dragonstone, Stannis proclaims allegiance to Melisandre's God of the Light, and publicly claims the Iron Throne. He also reveals Joffrey's bastardy. Joffrey orders Robert's bastard sons to be slaughtered. One, Gendry, escapes King's Landing with Arya. Having won three victories, Robb offers the Lannisters peace in exchange for the North's independence and Sansa's safe return. He sends Theon to gain Balon Greyjoy's support, and Catelyn is to seek an alliance with Renly Baratheon, who also claims the throne. Beyond the Wall, the Night's Watch finds shelter with Craster and his daughters/wives. In Essos, as her people slowly die in the Red Waste, Daenerys dispatches riders to conduct reconnaissance.
122'The Night Lands'Alan TaylorDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissApril 8, 20123.76[2]
Returning to Pyke Island after nine years as the Starks' ward, Theon is reunited with his sister, Yara, and his father, Balon, who despises Theon for his Northern ways. Balon intends to win back his crown by force. Cersei rejects Robb's terms, and Tyrion exiles Slynt, head of the Gold Cloaks, to the Wall, and promotes Bronn to Commander of the Watch. On the road to the Wall, Arya reveals her true identity to Gendry. North of the Wall, Samwell Tarly is approached by Gilly, one of Craster's daughters. Gilly, pregnant, fears for her unborn child if it is a boy; Jon Snow is reluctant to render help, despite Sam's pleas. In the Red Waste, a horse returns to Daenerys with its rider's severed head in a pouch, a message from her enemies. In Dragonstone, Davos, Stannis' henchman, recruits the pirate Salladhor Saan to Stannis' side. Stannis has sex with Melisandre, attempting to obtain the son his wife is unable to give him. Jon discovers that Craster sacrifices his sons to the White Walkers; Craster catches him spying and knocks Jon unconscious.
133'What Is Dead May Never Die'Alik SakharovBryan CogmanApril 15, 20123.77[3]
Catelyn arrives at Renly's camp to negotiate an alliance. The female warrior, Brienne of Tarth, wins the right to join Renly's king's guard through combat. Renly has recently wed Margaery Tyrell, Loras's sister, but has avoided consummating their marriage due to his homosexuality and relationship with Loras. In the Iron Islands, Balon plans an attack on the North, led by Yara. After burning a letter warning Robb of Balon's impending attack, Theon affirms his allegiance to the Greyjoy family in a water-based ceremony. In King's Landing, Tyrion imprisons Pycelle after learning he is Cersei's informant. Tyrion assigns his lover, Shae, to be Sansa's handmaiden, both to protect Shae and watch Sansa. Beyond the Wall, Craster demands the Night's Watchmen leave. Jon discovers that Jeor already knew about Craster's crimes. On the road to the wall, the band of Night's Watch recruits are attacked by Lannister soldiers searching for Gendry. Yoren is killed, and Arya is taken prisoner. To protect Gendry, Arya falsely states soldiers killed him.
144'Garden of Bones'David PetrarcaVanessa TaylorApril 22, 20123.65[4]
Catelyn attempts to convince the Baratheon brothers to unite against the Lannisters, but Stannis demands Renly's submission to his authority. Baelish visits Catelyn and offers to trade Jaime for her daughters. Melisandre gives birth to a shadow creature. Joffrey abuses Sansa in revenge for Robb's victories. Tyrion intervenes, resulting in Joffrey's cruel retaliation against the two prostitutes Tyrion had sent him as 'gifts'. Tyrion releases Pycelle, but dismisses him from the Small Council. Tyrion also discovers Cersei's incestuous relationship with their cousin, Lancel. He then blackmails Lancel into spying on Cersei, threatening to reveal the relationship to Joffrey. Arya and Gendry are taken to Harrenhal castle as captives. Prisoners are tortured until death until Tywin arrives and halts it, demanding the prisoners be used as labor. Recognizing that Arya is a girl, he makes her his servant, though without knowing her true identity. After an exhausting journey through the desert, Daenerys and her caravan arrive at the prosperous city of Qarth. Daxos, a member of the Council of Thirteen, persuades fellow council members to allow Daenerys and her retinue to enter the city.
155'The Ghost of Harrenhal'David PetrarcaDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissApril 29, 20123.90[5]
H'ghar, one of the three caged prisoners Arya saved, pledges to kill any three people she chooses to repay his debt to her. Her first choice is the Tickler, the man who mortally tortures the captives. Renly is killed by Melisandre's shadowy assassin. Catelyn and Brienne are accused of the murder and flee the camp. Excluding the Tyrells, Renly's forces submit to Stannis. Brienne swears loyalty to Catelyn. Theon sails from Pyke, intending to prove he is a true Ironborn. He plans to capture Winterfell while Robb is absent. Lancel tells Tyrion about wildfire, a mass-produced explosive substance intended to destroy Stannis' fleet and army during the impending siege. Tyrion takes control of the scheme. The Night's Watch arrives at an ancient fortress called the Fist of the First Men. Jeor allows Jon to join the team led by a veteran named Halfhand, in order to kill the enemy leader. In Qarth, Daxos proposes marriage to Daenerys in exchange for providing her his wealth to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Jorah convinces her to instead gain the Westerosi peoples' support.
166'The Old Gods and the New'David NutterVanessa TaylorMay 6, 20123.88[6]
Myrcella, Cersei's daughter, is sent to Dorn for protection. Theon takes Winterfell and executes Cassel, a henchman, for insulting him. Osha, the captured Wildling, helps Brandon and Rickon escape. Robb reunites with the healer Maegyr. At the Fist of the First Men, Jon captures a Wildling named Ygritte, but is separated from his patrol when he pursues her after she escapes. Joffrey incites a riot at King's Landing, in which he is nearly killed and Sansa almost raped. Tywin allows Baelish to seek the Tyrells' allegiance. Arya has H'ghar kill an officer who becomes suspicious of her. Robb receives news about Theon and sends men to retake Winterfell. At Qarth, Daenerys works to procure a ship to transport an army to Westeros, all the while keeping Daxos at bay. Daenerys' dragons are stolen.
177'A Man Without Honor'David NutterDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 13, 20123.69[7]
Theon hunts for Brandon and Rickon. Tywin has Harrenhal searched for his officer's killer. Jon has captured Ygritte but she escapes again, leading him into a trap. Still shaken from the riot, Sansa is horrified that she has begun menstruating and can thus bear Joffrey's children. Cersei warns her to love no one but her children, not even Joffrey. In Robb's camp, a failed escape attempt by Jaime leaves a guard dead and some soldiers seeking retribution. In Qarth, the warlock Pree reveals to Daenerys that he stole her dragons; he offers her the opportunity to reunite with them before slaughtering the Council of Thirteen and establishing Daxos as the king. Theon presents the charred corpses of two farm boys to Luwin and his subjects, falsely claiming they are Brandon and Rickon.
188'The Prince of Winterfell'Alan TaylorDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 20, 20123.86[8]
Robb learns that Catelyn secretly freed Jaime, who is now being escorted by Brienne to ransom him for Sansa and Arya; Robb confines his mother to her tent and sends men to find Jaime. Robb begins a romantic relationship with Talisa. Yara arrives at Winterfell to return Theon to Pyke. She criticizes him for taking Winterfell when it provided no strategic advantage. Tywin leaves Harrenhal to attack Robb, which allows Arya, Gendry, and their friend, Hot Pie to escape with H'ghar's help. In King's Landing, Cersei attempts to blackmail Tyrion by abducting Ros, whom the former believes is his secret lover. En route to King's Landing, Stannis promises to make Davos his Hand of the King. Beyond the Wall, the Wildling leader, 'Rattleshirt', leads the captured Jon and Halfhand to his king, Mance Rayder. At the Fist of the First Men, the brothers of the Night's Watch find a hidden cache of dragonglass. In Qarth, Jorah agrees to accompany Daenerys into the House of the Undying to retrieve her dragons. Brandon and Rickon are revealed to be alive and hiding in Winterfell.
199'Blackwater'Neil MarshallGeorge R. R. MartinMay 27, 20123.38[9]
Stannis' fleet assaults King's Landing. Leading the defense, Tyrion destroys many attacking ships with wildfire, forcing Stannis to attack on land. Sandor Clegane leads the defense outside the gate, but is defeated and retreats inside, denouncing Joffrey and leaving. Joffrey also escapes. Tyrion convinces the Gold Cloaks to fight with him. Stannis' forces enter the castle, but Tyrion leads his men behind the Stannis' forces via underground tunnels and mounts a rearguard attack. Cersei goes to the throne room with Tommen, intending to kill him before he can be captured. Shae convinces Sansa to go to her chamber. Sandor offers to take Sans to Winterfell, but she decides to stay. As Tyrion lies wounded and Cersei is about to poison Tommen, Tywin's forces, joined by Loras, arrive and force Stannis to retreat.
2010'Valar Morghulis'Alan TaylorDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissJune 3, 20124.20[10]
Joffrey sets Sansa aside to marry Margaery. Tyrion fears for his and Shae's safety now that Tywin has replaced him as Hand and relieved Bronn from his command. Melisandre gives Stannis a new hope. Brienne and Jaime are spotted by three Stark soldiers, whom she kills. Catelyn fails to dissuade Robb from marrying Talisa when he is promised to wed one of Walder Fray's daughters. In Qarth, Daenerys ventures into the House of the Undying and successfully retrieves her dragons, who kill Pree. She then seals Daxos inside his own vault and claims his wealth for herself. In Winterfell, Theon tries to convince his men to fight Robb's army, but they knock him unconscious and leave. A dying Luwin convinces Brandon and Rickon to go to the Wall. Arya, having escaped Harrenhal with Hot Pie and Gendry, receives a valuable coin from H'ghar, who magically changes his face. North of the Wall, Halfhand forces Jon to kill him to prove his loyalty to the Wildlings. An army of White Walkers surrounds the Fist of the First Men, including Sam, who hides and watches them in horror.


Main cast[edit]


  • Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister[11]
  • Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister[11]
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister[11]
  • Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark[11]
  • Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen[11]
  • Aidan Gillen as Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish[11]
  • Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont[11]
  • Kit Harington as Jon Snow[11]
  • Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth[11]
  • Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark[11]
  • Richard Madden as Robb Stark[11]
  • Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark[11]
  • Maisie Williams as Arya Stark[11]
  • Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy[11]
  • John Bradley as Samwell Tarly[11]
  • Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon[11]
  • Rory McCann as Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane[11]
  • Stephen Dillane as Stannis Baratheon[11]
  • Carice van Houten as Melisandre[11]
  • James Cosmo as Jeor Mormont[11]
  • Jerome Flynn as Bronn[11]
  • Conleth Hill as Varys[11]
  • Sibel Kekilli as Shae[11]
  • Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell[11]
  • Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister[11]

Also starring[edit]

  • Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo

Guest cast[edit]

The recurring actors listed here are those who appeared in season 2. They are listed by the region in which they first appear:

At and beyond the Wall[edit]

  • Simon Armstrong as Qhorin Halfhand
  • Ben Crompton as Eddison Tollett
  • Mark Stanley as Grenn
  • Edward Dogliani as the Lord of Bones
  • Rose Leslie as Ygritte
  • Robert Pugh as Craster
  • Hannah Murray as Gilly
  • Ian Whyte & Ross Mullan as White Walkers

In King's Landing[edit]

  • Callum Wharry as Tommen Baratheon
  • Aimee Richardson as Myrcella Baratheon
  • Julian Glover as Grand Maester Pycelle
  • Dominic Carter as Janos Slynt
  • Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant
  • Eugene Simon as Lancel Lannister
  • Wilko Johnson as Ilyn Payne
  • Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne
  • Tony Way as Dontos Hollard
  • Roy Dotrice as Wisdom Hallyne
  • Andrew Wilde as Tobho Mott
  • Esmé Bianco as Ros
  • Antonia Christophers as Mhaegen
  • Sahara Knite as Armeca
  • Maisie Dee as Daisy
  • Josephine Gillan as Marei

In the Stormlands[edit]

  • Gethin Anthony as Renly Baratheon[11]
  • Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth
  • Finn Jones as Loras Tyrell

On Dragonstone[edit]

  • Kerr Logan as Matthos Seaworth
  • Lucian Msamati as Salladhor Saan
  • Oliver Ford Davies as Maester Cressen

On the Iron Islands[edit]

  • Patrick Malahide as Balon Greyjoy
  • Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy
  • Ralph Ineson as Dagmer Cleftjaw
  • Forbes KB as Black Lorren
  • David Coakley as Drennan

In the North[edit]

  • Art Parkinson as Rickon Stark
  • Donald Sumpter as Maester Luwin[11]
  • Ron Donachie as Rodrik Cassel[11]
  • Peter Ballance as Farlen
  • Kristian Nairn as Hodor
  • Natalia Tena as Osha

In the Riverlands[edit]

  • Oona Chaplin as Talisa Maegyr
  • Michael McElhatton as Roose Bolton
  • John Stahl as Rickard Karstark
  • Paul Caddell as Jacks
  • Aidan Crowe as Quent
  • Tyrone McElhennon as Torrhen Karstark
  • Fintan McKeown as Amory Lorch
  • Ian Gelder as Kevan Lannister
  • Ian Whyte as Gregor Clegane
  • Karl Davies as Alton Lannister
  • Anthony Morris as the Tickler
  • Andy Kellegher as Polliver
  • David Fynn as Rennick
  • Francis Magee as Yoren
  • Joe Dempsie as Gendry
  • Ben Hawkey as Hot Pie
  • Eros Vlahos as Lommy Greenhands
  • Tom Wlaschiha as Jaqen H'ghar
  • Andy Beckwith as Rorge
  • Gerard Jordan as Biter

In Essos[edit]

  • Nonso Anozie as Xaro Xhoan Daxos
  • Ian Hanmore as Pyat Pree
  • Nicholas Blane as the Spice King
  • Slavko Juraga as the Silk King
  • Laura Pradelska as Quaithe
  • Steven Cole as Kovarro
  • Elyes Gabel as Rakharo
  • Roxanne McKee as Doreah
  • Amrita Acharia as Irri


HBO ordered a second season of Game of Thrones on April 19, 2011, two days after the series premiere.[12] The second season obtained a 15% increase in budget in order to be able to stage the war's most important battle,[13] the Battle of the Blackwater, in episode nine.

Filming took place during 106 shooting days. During three-quarters of those, two crews ('Dragon' and 'Wolf') were working simultaneously in different locations.[14]


David Benioff and D. B. Weiss serve as main writers and showrunners for the second season. They co-wrote six out of ten episodes. The remaining four episodes were written by story editor Bryan Cogman, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin, and new series writer and co-executive producer Vanessa Taylor, who wrote two episodes.

Alan Taylor was promoted to co-executive producer and directed four episodes, including the season premiere and finale. David Petrarca and David Nutter each directed two episodes, while series cinematographer Alik Sakharov and filmmaker Neil Marshall directed the remaining two.


The casting for the second season began in May 2011.[15] Although a large portion of the first-season cast were returning, the producers were still faced with a huge number of new characters to be cast. The producers decided that several characters from A Clash of Kings, including the Freys and Crannogmen Reeds at Winterfell, Frey bannermen of the Starks, the Tullys, Stannis' wife and daughter, Theon's uncle Aeron Greyjoy and the bastard Ramsay Snow would not be cast despite appearing in the novel. ShowrunnersDavid Benioff and D. B. Weiss commented on this saying that certain character introductions taking place in A Clash of Kings would be delayed until the third season. This was done due to the large number of characters already introduced in season two, and because they couldn't afford to have people 'waiting around' for their characters to become central to the plot.[16] Having to fill so many speaking roles, the showrunners not only 'postponed' the introduction of several key characters, but they also merged some into one, or certain plot-functions were given to different characters. Many physical traits were also altered, such as the ethnicity or age of characters. The cast was estimated to be the largest on television.[17] Scattered around two fictional continents characters include, by order of importance:

Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon)
Carice van Houten (Melisandre)

Emerging as the fourth claimant to the throne is the estranged brother of the late king Robert, Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane).[18] The foreign priestess Melisandre, portrayed by Carice van Houten poses as an influential, yet manipulative advisor to Stannis. Van Houten was previously asked (but unable) to audition for the role of Cersei in season one. While her character retains her signature red robes and hair, unlike in the novels Melisandre is not portrayed as having red eyes, making her appear somewhat more human.[19]Liam Cunningham stars as Ser Davos Seaworth, the 'Onion Knight', a bannerman of Stannis and a former smuggler.[20] Cunningham had already been in talks for a role in the first season. As he is left-handed, his Davos has the fingers of the right hand shortened, unlike in the novels where his left hand is crippled. In an interview, Cunningham said that a lot of new dialogue had to be written for his character, because in the novels Davos, a point-of-view character, is portrayed more through his thoughts than through his actions.[21] These three characters headed a new storyline set on a different location, that by the end of the season merged with the main plot.

Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), a main cast member from the first season, but with lesser importance than the others, came to prominence during the second season, as his story unfolded and his character became more central. Gemma Whelan appeared as his sister, Yara Greyjoy. Named 'Asha' in the novels, the character's name was changed to avoid confusion with the Wildling Osha, Bran Stark's companion.[22] 'Asha' is portrayed as a fairly provocative and independent woman, a captain of thirty ships, as opposed to her television counterpart Yara, who did not retain 'Asha's' traits, although her rivalry with Theon remained intact. Their father Balon Greyjoy was played by Patrick Malahide.[23] Many of the characters involved in the Greyjoys' storyline weren't introduced, most notably Balon's brother Aeron Greyjoy. Nonetheless, the storyline received enormous praise, with the alteration of Yara's name and persona being the only criticism.

Tom Wlaschiha is cast as Jaqen H'ghar, a mysterious prisoner who develops a murderous relationship with young Arya Stark (Maisie Williams).[24] Wlaschiha's pronunciation of his character's name, Jack-in, was adopted for use in the show.[25]Natalie Dormer, best known for her portrayal as seductive Anne Boleyn in Showtime's The Tudors, was cast in a similar role as Margaery Tyrell, a noblewoman and the wife of the third claimant to the throne, Renly Baratheon.[26]Gwendoline Christie played, to much praise, Brienne of Tarth, a female warrior who joins Renly Baratheon's guard, but later becomes a follower of Catelyn Stark.[27] To prepare for the role, Christie took up an intense training regimen, adding over a stone (6.4 kg) of muscle mass.[28] So that she could be mistaken for a man, her armor was decorated with lines that slant away from her hips.[29] On the other side of the fictional world, two female roles with rising prominence were added to the cast: Skins star Hannah Murray filled the role of Craster's daughter Gilly, a love interest to Samwell Tarly;[30] while the second role, the one of Ygritte, Jon Snow's love interest among the Wildlings, was played by Rose Leslie.[31]

Daenerys Targaryen's (Emilia Clarke) stay at Qarth, opened the way for several recurring characters. Nonso Anozie played Daenerys's host at Qarth, Xaro Xhoan Daxos.[32] The character differed a lot from his novel counterpart. Xaro's homosexuality, femininity and caucasian origin were overshadowed by dark skinned Anozie's masculinity and heterosexuality. Acting as one of her suitors is the treacherous warlock Pyat Pree portrayed by Ian Hanmore. Her third and final suitor was the masked priestess Quaithe (Laura Pradelska). Specially created for the television series was the so-called 'Spice King', a rich merchant from Qarth, played by Nicholas Blane. Also an original creation of the show is the character of Talisa (Oona Chaplin), a healer from Volantis and a romantic interest for Robb. She fills the role of another female interest of Robb's, called Jeyne Westerling, who has no similarities with Talisa whatsoever. In addition to Talisa, Michael McElhatton joins the cast in the role of Roose Bolton, an important character in Robb Stark's storyline. Lastly, Simon Armstrong plays the legendary Night's Watch ranger Qhorin Halfhand.

Others were also added to the cast, either in a small recurring role or with reduced prominence. The most notable example is Tony Way's Ser Dontos Hollard, a drunkard knight, who had a pivotal role in Sansa Stark's storyline that ran in the course of two novels, while in the series the role was reduced to a small scene in the opening episode. Others include: Ben Crompton as 'Dolorous Edd' Tollet, a man of the Night's Watch.[33]Robert Pugh as the Wildling Craster, father and husband to Gilly.[34] Kerr Logan as Davos Seaworth's pious son Matthos.[35]Karl Davies as Ser Alton Lannister, a character created for the series[36] who replaces Cleos Frey as envoy from the Starks to the Lannisters. Daniel Portman took the role of Podrick Payne, the squire to Tyrion Lannister.[37] The 19-year-old Portman plays Podrick as about 16 years old, instead of about 12 as in the novels. To be able to portray Podrick as awkward, shy and weak, Portman, previously a sportsman, stopped his fitness regimen and gained some weight to appear more endearing.[38]Lucian Msamati played Salladhor Saan, a Lysene pirate and friend of Davos Seaworth. Finally, Edward Dogliani appeared briefly as the 'Lord of Bones' (or 'Rattleshirt' in the novels), a Wildling leader and Oliver Ford Davies as Stannis's maester Cressen.[39]

All of the recurring characters from the first season returned, with one notable exception: Conan Stevens, whose role of Gregor Clegane was recast with Ian Whyte, did not return.[40]Roy Dotrice, a friend of George R. R. Martin, known for reading the audio versions of the novels and having previously rejected a role due to health reasons, appears this season as Pyromancer Hallyne, an elderly alchemist at King's Landing.[41]


The walled city of Dubrovnik stands in for King's Landing in season 2

For the second season, the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, was used instead of Malta for scenes in King's Landing and Daenerys' scenes in Qarth.[42] For example, the Minčeta Tower in Dubrovnik was used as the House of the Undying. Scenes set north of the Wall were filmed in Iceland in November 2011. The main locations are the Vatnajökull glacier,[43] the Svínafellsjökull glacier near Skaftafell, and the Mýrdalsjökull glacier near Vik used as the location for the Fist of the First Men with Höfðabrekka as the Frostfang Mountains.[44][45][46] New shooting locations in Northern Ireland include The Linen Mill Film & Television Studios in Banbridge, Ballintoy Harbour[47] and Downhill Strand. As the story in the second season required that the Winterfell set be expanded, a new set for Winterfell was built at the Moneyglass Estate near Toome village.[48]



The music for the second season was again composed by Ramin Djawadi. It contains a rendition of a song often mentioned or sung in the novels, The Rains of Castamere, by the indie rock band The National.[49]

The soundtrack for the season was released on June 19, 2012.[50]


HBO released numerous teaser trailers for the second season, beginning on December 11, 2011.[51] The second trailer, published on January 29, 2012,[52] was viewed 3.5 million times in the first three days after publication, a record for HBO promotional content.[53] Other trailers were released on February 24,[54] March 3 (set to Florence and the Machine's Seven Devils)[55] as well as subsequently.

HBO also published other promotional material, such as cast photographs[56] and teaser posters, prior to the airing of the first episode. The second issue of Entertainment Weekly in March 2012 had four alternative covers dedicated to in-costume photographs of Peter Dinklage (Tyrion), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys), Kit Harington (Jon Snow) or Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey (Jaime and Cersei Lannister).[57]


Thanks to the critical and commercial success of the first season, as well as HBO's marketing efforts, the second season received intensive media coverage well before it started airing. Sunday is Coming, a two-minute short film for Funny or Die, satirized viewers' excitement about the return of Game of Thrones.[58]

Critical response[edit]

Several media outlets reviewed the season's first four episodes before they were broadcast, and rendered almost uniformly positive verdicts. The season holds a Metacritic score of 90 out of 100 based on 26 critics, indicating 'universal acclaim'.[59] On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has a 96% approval rating from 37 critics with an average rating of 8.82 out of 10. The site's critical consensus reads, 'Game of Thrones follows up a strong debut with an even better second season, combining elegant storytelling and vivid characters to create a rich fantasy world.'[60]

Entertainment Weekly rated the new season 'A-' and praised the 'vivid, vital, and just plain fun' storytelling. In the reviewer's opinion, the greatly enlarged cast did not feel like bloat and the show remained accessible to those who had not read the novel.[61]The Huffington Post called the start of the second season 'far more elegant and engaging' than that of the first, and appreciated the show's maturation, increased assurance and momentum as well as the visually improved settings and the new actors' performance.[62]Newsday's review gave it an 'A+', calling it the 'best show on television' and warranting the preparation required by viewers.[63]

The Hollywood Reporter also wrote that Game of Thrones made a 'strong case for being one of TV's best series'. Impressed that the series continued to improve in quality as it breathed life into its vast web of interconnected storylines, the reviewer considered that, unlike other genre shows, Game of Thrones had gravitas such that it should not be considered dramatically inferior to shows like Mad Men or Breaking Bad.[64]HitFix's Alan Sepinwall gave the new, 'bigger and better' season an 'A', praising its increased confidence and smoothness despite its even greater use of 'sexposition'.[65] New to the series, the Chicago Sun-Times's reviewer found the season premiere 'engrossing' and praised the 'top-notch' acting, writing, sets and storytelling.[66] The New York Times was the only major publication to publish a mixed review. It criticized the lack of complexity in the characters apart from Dinklage's, the confusing multitude of characters and the meandering plot.[67]

Game Of Thrones Full Episodes

Game of Thrones (season 2): Critical reception by episode
  • Season 2 (2012): Percentage of positive reviews tracked by the website Rotten Tomatoes[60]



The second season was nominated for 11 Primetime Emmy Awards, which included Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Peter Dinklage. It won six awards, for, Outstanding Costumes for a Series, Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series, Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic), Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series, Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One-Hour), and Outstanding Special Visual Effects.[68]

2012AFI AwardsAFI TV AwardGame of ThronesWon[69]
Artios AwardsOutstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Series DramaNina GoldNominated[70]
ASCAP AwardsTop Television SeriesRamin DjawadiWon[71]
Portal AwardBest ActorPeter DinklageNominated[72]
Best ActressLena HeadeyWon
Best Supporting ActorAidan GillenNominated
Best Supporting ActressMichelle FairleyNominated
Maisie WilliamsWon
Best EpisodeGhost of HarrenhalNominated
Best SeriesGame of ThronesWon
Best Young ActorJack GleesonNominated
Maisie WilliamsWon
EWwy AwardBest Supporting Actress, DramaLena HeadeyWon[73]
64th Primetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Drama SeriesDavid Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Frank Doelger, Carolyn Strauss, George R. R. Martin, Vanessa Taylor, Alan Taylor, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and Bernadette CaulfieldNominated[68]
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesPeter DinklageNominated
64th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy AwardsOutstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera SeriesGemma Jackson, Frank Walsh, and Tina Jones for 'Garden of Bones', 'The Ghost of Harrenhal' and 'A Man Without Honor'[Nb 1]Won
Outstanding Casting for a Drama SeriesNina Gold and Robert SterneNominated
Outstanding Costumes for a SeriesMichele Clapton, Alexander Fordham, and Chloe Aubry for 'The Prince of Winterfell'Won
Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive MediaHBONominated
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera SeriesKevin Alexander, Candice Banks, Rosalia Culora, and Gary Machin for 'The Old Gods and the New'Nominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)Paul Engelen and Melissa Lackersteen for 'The Old Gods and the New'Won
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a SpecialPaul Engelen, Conor O'Sullivan, and Rob Trenton for 'Valar Morghulis'Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a SeriesPeter Brown, Kira Roessler, Tim Hands, Paul Aulicino, Stephen P. Robinson, Vanessa Lapato, Brett Voss, James Moriana, Jeffrey Wilhoit, and David Klotz for 'Blackwater'Won
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series (1 hour)Matthew Waters, Onnalee Blank, Ronan Hill, and Mervyn Moore for 'Blackwater'Won
Outstanding Special Visual EffectsRainer Gombos, Juri Stanossek, Sven Martin, Steve Kullback, Jan Fiedler, Chris Stenner, Tobias Mannewitz, Thilo Ewers, and Adam Chazen for 'Valar Morghulis'Won
2nd Critics' Choice Television AwardsBest Drama SeriesGame of ThronesNominated[74]
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesPeter DinklageNominated
Hollywood Post Alliance AwardsOutstanding Visual Effects – Television'The Prince of Winterfell'Won[75]
Golden Nymph awardsOutstanding International ProducerDavid Benioff, Frank Doelger, Carolyn Strauss and D. B. WeissWon[76]
Outstanding Actress in a Drama SeriesEmilia ClarkeNominated
Lena HeadeyNominated
Outstanding Actor in a Drama SeriesPeter DinklageNominated
Kit HaringtonNominated
British Society of CinematographersBest Cinematography in a Television DramaSam McCurdy for 'Blackwater'Nominated[77]
17th Satellite AwardsBest Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television FilmPeter DinklageNominated[78]
Best Television Series – DramaGame of ThronesNominated
IGN AwardsBest TV EpisodeBlackwaterWon[79]
Best TV DVD or Blu-rayFor the complete first season on Blu-rayWon
Best TV SeriesGame of ThronesNominated
Best TV Drama SeriesGame of ThronesNominated
Best TV VillainJack Gleeson as Joffrey BaratheonNominated
IGN People's Choice AwardBest TV EpisodeBlackwaterWon
Best TV Drama SeriesGame of ThronesWon
Best TV VillainJack Gleeson as Joffrey BaratheonWon
Best TV DVD or Blu-rayFor the complete first season on Blu-rayWon
Best TV SeriesGame of ThronesWon
28th TCA AwardsProgram of the YearGame of ThronesWon[80]
Individual Achievement in DramaPeter DinklageNominated
Outstanding Achievement in DramaGame of ThronesNominated
Gold Derby TV Awards 2012Best Drama SeriesGame of ThronesNominated[81]
Best Drama Supporting ActorPeter DinklageNominated
Best Drama Supporting ActressLena HeadeyNominated
Breakthrough Performer of the YearMaisie WilliamsNominated
Ensemble of the YearThe cast of Game of ThronesNominated
2013People's Choice AwardsFavorite Thriller ShowGame of ThronesNominated[82]
ADG Excellence in Production Design AwardOne-Hour Single Camera Television SeriesGemma Jackson for 'The Ghost of Harrenhal'Won[83]
American Society of CinematographersOutstanding Achievement in Cinematography in One-Hour Episodic Television SeriesKramer Morgenthau for 'The North Remembers'Won[84]
SFX AwardsBest ActressEmilia ClarkeWon[85]
Best ActressLena HeadeyNominated
Best ActorPeter DinklageNominated
NewNowNext AwardsCause You’re HotRichard MaddenNominated[86]
British Academy Television AwardsInternationalGame of ThronesNominated[87]
Radio Times Audience AwardGame of ThronesWon
Costume Designers Guild AwardsOutstanding Period/Fantasy Television SeriesGame of ThronesNominated[88]
Cinema Audio Society AwardsOutstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing – Television Series – One HourRonan Hill, Onnalee Blank, Mathew Waters, and Brett Voss for 'Blackwater'Nominated[89]
Dorian AwardsTV Drama of the YearGame of ThronesNominated[90]
10th Irish Film & Television AwardsBest Television DramaGame of ThronesNominated[91]
Best Director of PhotographyP.J. DillonNominated
Best SoundRonan Hill, Mervyn MooreNominated
Astra AwardsFavourite Program – International DramaGame of ThronesWon[92]
Golden Reel AwardsBest Sound Editing – Long Form Dialogue and ADR in TelevisionGame of Thrones for 'Valar Morghulis'Won[93]
Best Sound Editing – Long Form Sound Effects and Foley in TelevisionGame of Thrones for 'Valar Morghulis'Won
Best Sound Editing — Short Form Dialogue and ADR in TelevisionGame of Thrones for 'Blackwater'Nominated
Best Sound Editing – Short Form Music in TelevisionGame of Thrones for 'Blackwater'Nominated
Best Sound Editing – Short Form Sound Effects and Foley in TelevisionGame of Thrones for 'Blackwater'Nominated
Hugo AwardsBest Dramatic Presentation, Short FormNeil Marshall (director) and George R. R. Martin (writer) for 'Blackwater'Won[94]
Producers Guild Awards'The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama'David Benioff, Bernadette Caulfield, Frank Doelger, Carolyn Strauss, D. B. WeissNominated[95]
Saturn AwardBest Television PresentationGame of ThronesNominated[96]
19th Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television SeriesRob Cooper, Jamie Edgell, Dave Fisher, Dave Forman, Paul Herbert, Michelle McKeown, Sian Miline, Jimmy O’Dee, Domonkos Pardanyi, Marcus Shakesheff, CC Smiff, and Mark SouthworthWon[97]
Visual Effects SocietyOutstanding Animated Character in a Commercial or Broadcast ProgramIrfan Celik, Florian Friedmann, Ingo Schachner, Chris Stenner for 'Training the Dragons'Won[98]
Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast ProgramFalk Boje, Esther Engel, Alexey Kuchinsky, Klaus Wuchta for 'White Walker Army'Won
Outstanding Created Environment in a Commercial or Broadcast ProgramRene Borst, Thilo Ewers, Adam Figielski, Jonas Stuckenbrock for 'Pyke'Won
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast ProgramRainer Gombos, Steve Kullback, Sven Martin, Juri Stanossek for 'Valar Morghulis'Won
Writers Guild of America AwardsTelevision Drama SeriesDavid Benioff, Bryan Cogman, George R. R. Martin, Vanessa Taylor, D. B. WeissNominated[99]
Young Artist AwardBest Performance in a TV Series – Supporting Young ActorIsaac Hempstead-WrightNominated[100]
Best Performance in a TV Series – Supporting Young ActressSophie TurnerNominated
Best Performance in a TV Series – Supporting Young ActressMaisie WilliamsNominated
IGN AwardsBest TV DVD or Blu-rayFor the complete second season on Blu-rayNominated[101]

Game Of Thrones Season 2 Finale



The second season of Game of Thrones was broadcast on HBO in the United States from April 1, 2012 to June 3, 2012.[102][103]

Home media[edit]

DVD/Blu-ray box sets and digital downloads of the second season were released in North America on February 19, 2013.[104] The DVD set contains a 30-minute feature covering the production of the episode 'Blackwater', actor interviews, character profiles, twelve audio commentaries by cast and crew, and a discussion about Westerosi religions by the showrunners and George R. R. Martin. The Blu-ray set additionally contains a feature about the 'War of the Five Kings' that breaks out in season two, as well as 19 animated histories of the mythology of Westeros and Essos.[105]

Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season
Set detailsSpecial features
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Castilian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Castilian, Spanish, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Hebrew, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Swedish, Turkish
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 5-disc set, 10 episodes
  • 'Creating the Battle of Blackwater Bay': A 30-minute feature including new footage from the set and interviews.
  • 'Game of Thrones: Inner Circle': Interviews with several cast member to talk about their experiences shooting season two, moderated by executive producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.
  • 'The Religions of Westeros': George R. R. Martin, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss discuss the competing religions in the series and how they influence the various characters in Westeros and beyond.
  • 'Character Profiles': Profiles of seven major characters as described by the actors portraying them including Renly Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon, Robb Stark, Theon Greyjoy and more.
  • Twelve audio commentaries by, among others, Benioff, Weiss, Martin, Clarke, Dinklage, Harington and more.

Blu-ray exclusive:

  • 'War of the Five Kingss': Track the claims, strategies and key players involved in the battle for the Iron Throne with this interactive guide that follows the movements of various armies detailing their victories and defeats.
  • 'Histories & Lore': 19 animated histories detailing the mythology of Westeros and Essos as told from the varying perspectives of the characters themselves and featuring, in-part, illustrations from Game of Thrones storyboard artist Will Simpson.
  • 'In-Episode Guide': In-feature resource that provides background information about on-screen characters, locations and relevant histories.
  • 'Hidden Dragon Eggs', easter eggs.[104]
DVD release dates
Region 1Region 2Region 4
February 19, 2013[106]March 4, 2013[107]March 6, 2013[108]

Copyright infringement[edit]

The second season of Game of Thrones was the most-pirated TV series in 2012.[109]


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External links[edit]

  • Game of Thrones – official US site
  • Game of Thrones – official UK site
  • List of Game of Thrones episodes on IMDb
  • List of Game of Thrones episodes at
  • Game of Thrones: Season 2 at Rotten Tomatoes

Watch Game Of Thrones Season 5

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