Last night was Game of Thrones' season 2 finale. In this post, I will review that on its own as well as the season as a whole.
Season 2 is very different from Season 1 of Game of Thrones. In terms of being faithful to the book, the best analogy I can think of is compare the first two Lord of the Rings films.
Also, because of the change and focus the story goes through, some fans of the first season may not like the second (especially if they haven't read the book.)
Season 2 is more drama based, introduces new characters, and re-organizes ones we've met before in terms of importance and screen time. We get to know a lot more about Theon Greyjoy and the Iron Islands. We meet Stannis Baratheon and Melissandre, plus more characters. Plus we got an entire episode dedicated to a battle.
The finale wrapped up a few strands from the season, and leads into the 3rd quite well. I've read all the books so far, so I can say that the series will get better. There are a few twists and turns in season 2, but not compared to what is yet to come. Season 1 is still the superior of the 2 so far, but season 2 acts as a continuation and a stepping stone for what's to come.
Season 2 Overall: 8.5/10
Season Finale: 9/10