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'Game of Thrones': Season 2 premiere has clever twists and dialogue

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Paul Schiraldi/HBO/AP

(Read caption) 'Game of Thrones' character Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) is taking his job as the man behind the throne seriously as season 2 begins.

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Omens, visions and rituals combine to herald the next chapter of HBO’s obsession-worthy fantasy series, Game of Thrones. After leaving the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros in the hands of a despotic boy-king, the series roars back to television, picking up right where it left off like a book opened to a dog-eared page.

From the start, it’s clear that, as much as season 1 followed the reluctant exploits of Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) and his ruinous turn as the Hand of the King, season 2 immediately begins gathering steam from the performance of Peter Dinklage. Yes, he was the break out star of season 1, but this season, awards and accolades aside, Game of Thrones feels very much like Dinklage’s program to carry. With his wit, charm and wry sensibilities, Tyrion easily handles the task.

At our first sight of Tyrion, it’s clear he is not taking the role of Hand of the King lightly, and knows that his family – particularly his sister and her son – are also the unscrupulous kind that, if they are to remain in charge, will require the guidance of one who – despite having many vices – is not ruled by them. That is to say: Tyrion has the mettle, and the smarts, to make the rule of Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) a long one. 

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