Warning: Spoilers within!
In one of the final scenes of the Season 2 premiere of Game of Thrones, henchmen of boy-king Joffrey, the incestuous product of his mother and uncle, tear through King's Landing, slaying the many bastard children of Robert, Joffrey's official but now totally dead father. Because his mother slapped him when he confronted her about those bastards. (Joffrey's still in dark about the incest issue.) Still!
Read on to get more soapy details about the premiere from the sneak preview in Denver and see photos of the costumed fans who were there.
It's a tumultuous ending to a season premiere that's full of developing plot lines for the HBO series, adapted from the books of George R. R. Martin. And it's fitting, as every character is acting on what power they have, including disgusting little Joffrey, who continues to be a revolting creature. There's an Iron Throne at stake and everyone who thinks they have a shot at it is preparing for a season's worth of conspiring and bloodshed. And random boobs, because this is HBO after all.
The episode -- which doesn't air until Sunday night on HBO -- was shown as a sneak-preview in Denver, one of eight showings across the country this week. Except for a few in the neck-craning front-row, all of the 224 seats in the Theater 6 of the Landmark Theatre in Greenwood Village were full on Tuesday night for the event. The majority of audience members raised their hand when an HBO rep asked who had the books.
And yes, there were costumes.
While this won't be a full rundown of the episode -- despite that many die-hard fans already have a keen understanding of the plot-line from the series -- here are a few memorable scenes, quotations and observations from the first episode.
Peter Dinklage, who portrays dwarf Tyrion Lannister, continues to display the most compelling acting on the show, starting with the opening scene during Joffrey's Name Day bloodbath/celebration. Fans should continue to be entertained by Dinklage's performance, which earned him an Emmy, Golden Globe and Satellite award for his work on Season 1.
"Why do you think I'm so little?" Tyrion Lannister asks whore-turned-girlfriend Shae when the couple arrive in King's Landing. "I'm crushed by the weight of the truth." Indeed he is: with everyone in King's Landing a liar (good, bad or the rare great), the little man has less to gain with lying than his family members. Dinklage should continue to be the unlikely voice of reason in Season 2.
The episode also sees the emergence of one of the creepiest characters yet in the television series: Craster, the wine-thirsty old psychopath who marries his daughters and is thought to execute his sons.
As for the rest -- Melisandre, Stannis Baratheon, Khaleesi's emerging leadership role -- you'll have to watch on Sunday.
In addition to the the main event, a good dozen or so viewers dressed up as their favorite characters.
Evan Luthye dressed as Patchface, the "fool" of Lord Steffon at Dragonstone.
"I'm really counting on the new season opening with Patchface's prologue from the second book," Luthye says while waiting to get into the theater. "If they don't, I might be out of luck."
The season premiere didn't open with that Patchface prologue, but Luthye's fool-like jig in front of 220 or so of fellow Game of Thrones fans endeared him to the audience and the fool walked home with an iPad and Game of Thrones swag as a prize in the applause-driven costume contest.
Another memorable costume was worn by Lauren Maske of South Denver, dressed as Melisandre. Maske, who made her costume on Tuesday, says she read that the character had been cast for Season 2.
"This is where she comes in the books so I'm sure they'll have her," she says while waiting on-line on Tuesday night. "She's sort of a see-er and she supports this new religion where there's only one god, but the main thin is that she sort of prophesies that Stannis who is another of the brothers, will be king. So she goes along helping him make good choices to be king."
Maske said the idea of carrying an iPad while dressed as a medieval character wouldn't be so bad.
"I'm all about anachronism, I think it's fun," Maske says. "I do LARP'ing and go to renaissance fairs, so I'm totally cool carrying my cell phone while wearing a medieval dress."
More costumes from last night are on Page 2.
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