Last year we spent quite a long time in Winterfell, being introduced to the Starks before there was any true conflict.This time around, Westeros is already like a bag full of blood-crazed, sex-fixated, Machiavellian ferrets.With respect to the new Danish masters, not to mention Breaking Bad and Homeland, I think this is probably the most entertaining programme on television right now. The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.

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Given that Will and his compatriots don’t ultimately matter as characters, scripters and show creators David Benioff and D. Weiss focus on establishing essential aspects of the series’ fantasy world.

The episode’s first shots depict the frozen Wall that marks the Seven Kingdoms’ northern border.

The viewer is not meant to empathize deeply with the Rangers, but to watch in giddy terror as they are picked off by a powerful supernatural foe lurking in the forest.

Indeed, the monstrous White Walkers seem to take a fiendish pleasure in terrorizing the Rangers before slaying them, the series’ writers convey an astonishing amount of information in a brief span of time.

When the eunuch Varys (Conleth Hill) suggested he had met girlfriend Shae (Sibel Kekilli) while she was working in Tyrion’s father’s kitchen, the Imp had the immediate answer.

“You should try her fish pie,” he suggested innocently.

Game of Thrones (Sky Atlantic) certainly doesn’t suffer from a lack of characters. To go with the Starks, Targaryens, Lannisters and Baratheons we already know, the second series has thrown two new locations at us, each with their own casts.

Even this review has eighteen named characters in it, and there are plenty I haven’t mentioned.

Murray was last seen in the first series of Skins, playing the waif-like Cassie, so frumpy wildling wench was a bit of a departure.

In King’s Landing Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) was up to his old tricks, cracking puns and scheming for his self-preservation.

Tonight it was the Iron Islands, where Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) thought he was returning to his family seat on Pyke, via some gratuitous sex on the boat over.