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The first half of “Game of Thrones'” debut season wasn’t a particularly graceful experience. There’s no doubt that the team adapting George R.R. Martin’s compelling novels about knights, dragons and a land convulsed by rebellion faced an incredibly difficult challenge in boiling down a 700-page novel into 10 hours of television. Despite a first-rate cast and palpably respectful intentions, the first few hours of Season 1 contained quite a few rough spots, awkward transitions and clunky passages.
It’s gratifying to be able to say that the first four hours of Season 2 of “Game of Thrones” are far more elegant and engaging. It helps that most of the characters are already established, but there’s more to it than that; the confidence and dexterity that were on display in the second half of Season 1 are even more in evidence in Season 2. The show occasionally felt weighted down by expectations in its first season, but it demonstrates a lighter touch this year; there’s a particularly amusing sequence in Episode 3 involving Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) that is both dramatically effective and comedically pleasing. It’s a sign of the show’s maturation that it can have a little fun with its narrative style even as it continues to take the characters and their ever more complicated world seriously.- Maureen Ryan Huffingtion Post-
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