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'Game of Thrones' finale finishes the season with powerful moments

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Courtesy of HBO

(Read caption) 'Game of Thrones' ended its second season with the episode 'Valar Morghulis.'

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Considering its lack of readily identifiable stars like Sean Bean and Jason Momoa (but really Sean Bean), Game of Thrones had its work cut out for it in season 2.

Yet somehow, with the added challenge of lacking a central character whose ideals and experiences audiences could cling to throughout the season (like those of Bean’s Eddard Stark), Game of Thrones has arguably managed to pull of the kind of feat most programs wouldn’t dare; that is, the series has exponentially expanded its world – geographically and otherwise – added to its cast of characters, and then spread them apart so that few, if any, actually have chance to interact.

Here, the sheer size of Westeros and the number of characters contained therein could have proved a logistical nightmare for David Benioff and D.B. Weiss – taking into account they had but 10 (or so) hours to tell multiple intertwining (and sometimes disparate) stories and make them work as a cohesive whole. In doing this, the writers crafted a solid second season that united its characters and their various story lines through the omnipresent threat of conflict.

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