Game of Thrones is based on based on the bestselling book series by George RR Martin. 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. With winter fast approaching, the coveted Iron Throne is occupied by the cruel Joffrey, counseled by his conniving mother Cersei and uncle Tyrion. 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.
The season 2 finale did justice to nearly every character and subplot, and it tied them all together under a unified thematic umbrella that gave significant weight and meaning to every part of this vast, wide-ranging fantasy epic.
Because of the limits set within the books, the screenwriters have to choose how to make the most out of every line written. For just 10 hours this season, I don't envy them, and yet it's fascinating watching it unfold.