Wednesday, 3 July 2013

TV: Game of Thrones (S3) (9/10)

Why did I watch it?
Simple, I love this show. I decided to watch Season 2 and 3 before returning to George R.R. Martin's books and picking up A Clash of Kings of which the second and third seasons contain elements of.

What's it all about?
Unless you have been living under a rock, or in deepest Qarth perhaps, you should have heard of HBO's TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. Well it's that, and Season Three just finished with a bang.

At the end of season two, we saw Robb Stark defy his mother, the growing power of Daenerys' infant dragons, Winterfell fall and most excitingly the White Walkers on the move North of The Wall.

Without giving much away, season three sees the continuation of war fought between the Starks and their bannermen and the Lannisters, Daenerys dragons continue to grow as she begins assembling an army overseas, Jon falls in with Mance Rayder's wildlings north of The Wall and the political scheming at Kings Landing continues as Tywin Lannister arrives as the new Hand of the King.

Should you watch it?
At times I felt that season three was the show's slowest yet. For me too many of the characters, I can think of Arya, Sam, Jaime and Brann off the top of my head, were sharing journeys of a similar nature and although the plot only visited them occasionally, there didn't seem to be much diversity between the story lines and episodes could be filled with people on the move, never seeming to make much progress towards their goals.

Catelyn wasn't impressed with the colour scheme at
the Red Wedding
On the other hand, all the above is what makes Game of Thrones such a great show. The plot moves along at its own speed, steadily moving the massive cast of characters along in their respective story arcs. The slow and deliberate story telling is such a contrast to many TV shows , where writers seem to rush plots at the expense of character development. That is not to say that Game of Thrones is not capable of turning up the excitement levels. I think this season has contained the biggest shocks of the show so far and considering what happened at the end of season one, that is saying something.  

This leads me on to the episode The Rains of Castamere, also known as The Red Wedding. I'm keen not to give anything way so it is difficult to comment on but for me this episode underlines the greatness of the show. A colossal event in terms of characters and story line that you just would not see in any other show. Imagine Tony Soprano's family being wiped out in the middle of an episode in the middle of a season. Totally unheard of. The scenes in particular were brilliantly produced as well and any silly doubts I had over the show were instantly erased by this episode.

"but I don't want to go to bed Granddad"
Elsewhere, Tywin demonstrates he is the only Lannister able to lay the law down to Joffrey. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this in the future, Joffrey seems genuinely afraid of his grandfather. Tywin's arrival shakes things up at Joffrey's court and things change for Tyrion, Sansa and Littlefinger and even Cersei seems unable to avoid her father's plans to strengthen the family.

The season comes to a close with the fate of one major character unconfirmed and I can't wait for the fallout from the Red Wedding to filter across Westeros. The next season of Game of Thrones cannot return soon enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment