Film and TV

Pop Rocks: Everything's Coming Up Tyrion in the New Game of Thrones Season 2 Teaser

"Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick, a shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very long shadow."

HBO didn't waste any time capitalizing on Peter Dinklage's Emmy win for Best Supporting Actor. The character of Tyrion figures prominently in this latest preview for season 2 of Game of Thrones, which premieres April 1. The clip played in front of the Luck last night. Along with the teaser for the next season of True Blood.

I didn't see that one, however. I'm guessing there was skin. And fangs.

We begin with Varys telling the riddle of the king, the priest, and the rich man and the sellsword who must decide which of them to kill.* But it's clear from the preview the first two refer to Stannis Baratheon (Robert's brother, who claims the Iron Throne) and Melisandre, who will be instrumental in his plans. The third is Tywin Lannister, looking to play even more of a central role now that Jaime is imprisoned and his snotty grandson has apparently decided to forgo the "benevolent" part of "benevolent despot." And while I realize both shots are from the same scene, it almost looks like Joffrey spends most of his days torturing Sansa.

Those without speaking bits still get the lingering shot treatment. There's The Hound in repose, Jon gazing upon the desolate expanses of the North, Bran (remember him?) absently playing with a dagger, and Robb doing his level best to look like an angry badass. Meanwhile, Cersei looks to be reaping the consequences of Joffrey's administrative blunders, Theon is getting a seawater shampoo treatment and Daenerys is moving to consolidate her own power.

But it's obviously Tyrion who's to be the focus of this season, looming large over most everything else. Now that the Lannisters are in power, he'll be even more instrumental to keeping them there, advising Cersei on the difficulties of governing when millions hate you (just like Obama!) and assuring Varys, at the end, that "he knows how this game is played."

Making Tyrion the focus of this teaser recognizes what fans of George R.R. Martin's series have known from the get-go: He's the most compelling character in the first couple books. However, he'd be wise to heed the words of Arya, "Anyone can die."

She'd know.

* The answer, according to Tyrion, depends on the sellsword.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar