9:45am PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones' Podcast: Daenerys Targaryen and the Red Waste of Time
[Warning: Full spoilers through seven seasons of HBO's Game of Thrones are ahead.]
Enemies to the west, enemies to the east...
Sound familiar? It's the situation in which Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) finds herself at the onset of Game of Thrones' season seven, once she's claimed the Iron Throne and became de facto Queen of Westeros, much to the chagrin of her opponents. But she's not the first warrior queen to find herself surrounded by enemies on virtually every side.
The second season of Thrones sees Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) with limited options and limitless enemies, as she and her khalasar wander through the Red Waste of Essos, desperate and dying of starvation and exhaustion, tirelessly working to avoid the countless foes with their sites set on the Mother of Dragons. If only Dany and her fellows traveled just a bit more east — they could have wound up in the fabled lands of Yi Ti or Asshai (assuming they survived the treacherous mountain pass; a lofty assumption indeed), rather than their woefully misguided next destination: Qarth, "the greatest city there ever was and ever will be," or so they say.
For Daenerys, her scenes in the season two premiere speak not only to the dangerous circumstances surrounding her in the context of the story, but the idea that Thrones at large is wandering through a Red Waste of sorts, unsure of how best to move forward with the character. From the moment Dany's Silver dies, Thrones diverges from the path laid out in the pages of George R.R. Martin's A Clash of Kings, the second novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series, and the most notable deviation from the source material up to this point in the series. In the estimation of "Winter Was Here" podcasters Rob Cesternino and Josh Wigler (that's me!), Dany's season two story stands out as one of the single weakest points in the entire series — and we're only through "The North Remembers," the season's very first episode. Brace yourselves accordingly.
• How Thrones missed an opportunity to start season two on a stronger note
• Why it's so easy to consistently mispronounce the words "Craster's Keep"
• The start of the single-best Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) season to date
• How the information revealed in season six's premiere changes the way we view Melisandre (Carice van Houten)
• Differences between the Dragonstone of season two and the Dragonstone of season seven
• The vicious way in which the season two premiere ends
• And more!
Listen to the full episode of the podcast in the player below.