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Season 2 of Game of Thrones consists of ten episodes and began filming on July 25, 2011 and wrapped on December 12, 2011. Season 2 has a budget 15% higher than Season 1, putting it in the region of $69 million.[1] David Benioff and D.B. Weiss returned as executive producers and show runners.

The season premiered on April 1, 2012.

Season 2 is mostly based on A Clash of Kings, the second book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.

Plot

Season 2 Locations map

A map showing the notable locations featured in Season 2.

Season 2 spans several months on a world where the seasons last for years at a time. The Seven Kingdoms are at war, with the King in the North, Robb Stark, fighting to win independence for his people and those of the Riverlands. Robb decides that he must win the allegiance of the fiercely independent ironborn to his cause, and sends his best friend Theon Greyjoy to treat with his father, who is hatching plans of his own. Meanwhile, Joffrey Baratheon holds the Iron Throne with the backing of the powerful House Lannister, but his uncle Renly has also claimed the throne with the support of House Tyrell, whose armies are much larger. As they struggle for the throne, Tyrion Lannister arrives in King's Landing to take matters in hand, only to face opposition from his scheming sister, Cersei, now the Queen Regent.

However, there is another faction entering the picture. Stannis Baratheon, Robert's younger brother and Renly's older brother, has also claimed the Iron Throne. A proven battle commander and veteran of several wars, Stannis is known to be utterly without mercy to his enemies and will do what is right even if it destroys him. Advising him is Melisandre, an enigmatic priestess from the east, who believes Stannis is meant for a greater destiny , and Ser Davos Seaworth, an honest and honorable man uneasy with the shifts in power at Stannis' court.

Far to the east, Daenerys Targaryen has hatched the only three dragons in the world. Eventually they will grow into terrifying monsters capable of destroying cities at her command, but for now they are still hatchlings and vulnerable. With her khalasar gone, Daenerys and her small band of followers must find a way across a forbidding wasteland and find new allies to support her claim to the Iron Throne.

In the distant north, the Night's Watch has mounted an expedition beyond the Wall, searching for missing rangers and investigating rumors of wildlings gathering in the mountains. For Jon Snow this will be a rite of passage as he is asked to make difficult choices, for the realm and for himself.

Video recap

Game of Thrones - The Story So Far04:55

Game of Thrones - The Story So Far

Season 1 - 2 

Production

Filming of Season 2 again took place in Northern Ireland, on location and at the Paint Hall studio facility in Belfast. Additional filming, for the Night's Watch storyline, took place in Iceland. Malta was not used for filming in Season 2, with the city of Dubrovnik in Croatia standing in for King's Landing instead and used for the new location of Qarth.[2][3] The production considered filming in Spain but ultimately preferred Croatia for budgetary reasons.[4]

Cast

Main article: Season 2 cast

Starring cast

Also starring

Selected guest starring cast

Crew

Producers

Writers

Directors

Deleted scenes

A scene was cut from "The Old Gods and the New" which would have depicted the theft of the dragons from Xaro's palace, and would have shown the death of Irri.[5]

Episodes

# Image Title Airdate Viewers/Rating
11 201 TNR "The North Remembers April 1, 2012 3.86
Tyrion arrives to save Joffrey's crown; Daenerys searches for allies and water in the Red Waste; Jon Snow faces the wilderness beyond the Wall.
12 202 TNL "The Night Lands" April 8, 20123.76
Arya shares a secret; a scout returns to Dany with disturbing news; Theon comes home to the Iron Islands; Tyrion administers justice; Jon witnesses a terrible crime.
13 203 WIDMND "What Is Dead May Never Die" April 15, 20123.77
Tyrion roots out a spy; Catelyn meets a new king and queen; Bran dreams; Theon drowns.
14 204 GOB "Garden of Bones" April 22, 20123.65
Catelyn tries to save two kings from themselves; Tyrion practices coercion; Robb meets a foreigner; Dany finds her ally; Melisandre casts a shadow on the Stormlands.
15 205 TGOH "The Ghost of Harrenhal" April 29, 20123.90
The Baratheon rivalry ends; Tyrion learns of Cersei's secret weapon; Dany suffers a loss; Arya collects a debt she didn't know was owed; Jon Snow meets a legend.
16 206 TOGATN "The Old Gods and the New" May 6, 20123.88
Arya has a surprise visitor; Dany vows to take what is hers; Joffrey meets his subjects; Qhorin gives Jon a chance to prove himself.
17 207 AMWH "A Man Without Honor" May 13, 20123.70
Jaime meets a relative; Theon hunts; Dany receives an invitation.
18 Tyrion and Varys 2x08 "The Prince of Winterfell" May 20, 20123.86
Theon holds down the fort; Arya calls in her debt with Jaqen; Robb is betrayed; Stannis and Davos approach their destination.
19 209 B "Blackwater" May 27, 20123.38
Tyrion and the Lannisters fight for their lives as Stannis' fleet assaults King's Landing.
20 210 VM "Valar Morghulis" June 3, 20124.20
Arya receives a gift from Jaqen; Dany goes to a strange place; Jon proves himself.

Marketing

HBO has released production featurettes through the Making Game of Thrones website. D. B. Weiss's assistant Cat Taylor took over writing responsibilities for the site from Bryan Cogman for the second season.

Media release

Season 2 box set gatefold

The Season 2 box set.

Season 2 of Game of Thrones was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States on 19 February 2013, and in the UK on 4 March 2013. The set includes all 10 episodes of the second season and a large number of extras.[6]

Blu-Ray only

  • The War of Five Kings: an interactive featurette which tracks the movements of the armies and the key characters involved in the conflict, listing the battles and their outcomes.
  • Histories and Lore: 19 animated featurettes expanding on the history of Westeros and Essos, narrated by key characters and featuring artwork by storyboard artist Will Simpson.
  • In-Episode Guide: in-episode resource that provides background information about on-screen characters, locations, and relevant histories while each episode plays.
  • Hidden Dragon Eggs: Find the hidden dragon eggs to uncover even more never-before-seen content.
  • DVD and Digital Copies: As well as all of the episodes on Blu-ray, there are additional copies of all the episodes on DVD, with them also available via digital download.

Blu-Ray and DVD

  • Creating the Battle of Blackwater Bay: 30-minute documentary focusing on the Battle of the Blackwater and how it was created, including interviews with producers, special effects personnel and actors.
  • Game of Thrones Inner Circle: a roundtable discussion about the shooting of Season 2. Moderated by producer-showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff and featuring actors Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Michelle Fairley and Liam Cunningham.
  • The Religions of Westeros: George R.R. Martin, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss discuss the religions of Westeros and Essos and the impact they have on the characters.
  • Character Profiles: Profiles of seven characters as described by the actors playing them, including Renly and Stannis Baratheon, Robb Stark and Theon Greyjoy.
  • Audio commentaries: Twelve audio commentaries with cast and crew.
    • "The North Remembers": Commentary by producers/writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
    • "The Night Lands": Commentary by actors Alfie Allen and Gemma Whelan.
    • "What is Dead May Never Die": Commentary by writer Bryan Cogman and director Alik Sakharov.
    • "What is Dead May Never Die": Second commentary track by Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams and Isaac Hempstead-Wright.
    • "Garden of Bones": Commentary by actors Carice Van Houten and Liam Cunningham.
    • "The Old Gods and the New": Commentary by actors Kit Harington and Rose Leslie, and writer Vanessa Taylor.
    • "A Man Without Honor": Commentary by producers/writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
    • "The Prince of Winterfell": Commentary by actors Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Michelle Fairley.
    • "Blackwater": Commentary by writer/producer George R.R. Martin.
    • "Blackwater": Commentary by actors Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey and director Neil Marshall.
    • "Valar Morghulis": Commentary by Rainer Gombos and Steve Kullback of the visual effects team.
    • "Valar Morghulis": Commentary by actor Emilia Clarke and director Alan Taylor.

Sales

The Game of Thrones second season box set set a new record for HBO first-day DVD and Blu-ray sales, breaking the record previously set by Season 1's release a year earlier. On its first day of release the box set sold 241,000 units, which is 44% higher than the first-day sales of Season 1. There were also 355,000 sales of episodes via digital download services, more than twice that for the first season.[7]

Promotional video

Main: Season 2 Promotional video

Season 2 has been advertised through the release of numerous trailers and featurettes.

Image gallery

Main - Gallery: Season 2

HBO have released a range of promotional images and posters to market the second season.

See also

References