"The Night Lands," Sunday night's episode of HBO's Game of Thrones, was the drama-filled follow-up one would expect after last week's spectacular premiere. Last week, we were introduced to Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), brother to the late King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) and rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
After taunting viewers with a series of cliffhangers last year that included the beheading of Stark family patriarch Ned Stark (Lord of the Rings' Sean Bean), the regrettable ascendancy of illegitimate Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) to the throne, and the fantastical dragon-whispering by Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), HBO's runaway hit, Game of Thrones, had a lot to live up to upon the return of its second season on April 1.
It would be going too far to suggest that Mel Brooks' singular form of parody is perhaps the last word in genre fiction. But when a particular story finds itself told so often and with such indistinguishable, uniform conformity that such a thing as Robin Hood: Men in Tights can even come to pass, you know that the tale is perhaps a little worn in the telling.