Synopsis: Westeros has been thrown into chaos. King Baratheon is dead, and the cruel Jeoffrey has taken the iron throne. Claims against Jeoffrey have been made, and multiple men have begun campaigns vying for power, including Renly and Stannis Baratheon. Stannis believes his claim the most legitimate, and the appearance of Melisandre, the red woman, complicates matters even further. In the wake of Eddard Stark’s death, his oldest son, Rob Stark, has been deemed the king of the north. Each of these men are playing a dangerous game, and thousands of lives hang in the balance.
Review: Game of Thrones is a complicated tale to tell. There are a host of people jockeying for the crown, and this makes conveying all of their connecting machinations difficult at times. Using a Maester to recap the previous events is a smart move. His narration gives a certain gravity to the flashbacks; furthermore, it lays a solid foundation of what is to come. The drawback to this kind of storytelling is the lack of immediate action. The only major action comes in the final pages of the issue. So if you are looking for a harrowing first installment, this issue does not deliver on that front.
While the art for Clash of Kings is influenced by the television series, the creative team does a good job at giving the issue its own sense of style. Take the princess Shireen for example. Fans of the HBO series have a specific image of that character. Yes, the character bares a resemblance to the actress, but here Shireen has a uniqueness all her own. There is a fine line that the creators have to dance to have their series stand on its own merits. I believe they accomplish this.
The latest installment in the GoT comic adaptation has a great deal of ground to cover; however, it does not feel like a rehash of things we already know, but a more deliberate examining of a pivotal time.