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Perhaps one of the most followed TV drama's/series of all time, there have been many
great series down the years such as 'Roots' 'Rich man Poor man' 'Rome' and
'North and South' to pluck just one or two from the lists..
The first two series I waited for the Blu-ray release to watch over
just a few evenings, knowing i'd not want to wait a week for the
next instalment.
this time, I recorded the entire series over the pasr eleven Mondays
( Whit-Monday there was no episode in the U.K and have over the last few days
watched the third series, totally compelling and addictive viewing.
I will of course buy the box-set of the 3rd series when released.
what a truly brilliant series it really is.........................
after the victory brought about by the ingenuity of 'Lannister' dwarf
'Tyrion' and the timely intervention of 'Tywin' ( father of 'Cersei'
'Jaime' and 'Tyrion' ) the cruel and arrogant young king 'Joffrey' still
rules ( or does he ? )
( the casting of 'Joffrey' is a master-stroke, you actually feel the
need to rid the kingdom of him yourself )
there is still a queue waiting to depose the young king and the Lannister's
and claim the iron throne.
'Rob Stark' has interrupted his campaign of rescuing sister 'Sansa'
and revenging his fathers execution by order of the young king, to
return to 'Winterfell' with mother 'Catelyn' in search of his younger
brothers and sister, after 'Theon Greyjoy' had sacked the northern
many of 'Rob Stark's' army have left for home, now to pursue his aim
he must strike an alliance with the treacherous 'Frey's' a decision
his mother had advised him against.
meanwhile 'Mother of Dragon's' 'Daenerys' seeks to raise an army though
she has no wealth to do so, her only asset - her three Dragon's.
she grows impatient, however her young dragons are not yet ready, and
building her army of freed slaves will also take time.
those that have read the books, I haven't, will know of the unexpected
and dramatic twists that were in store for this series.
as in the previous two series the third is full of intrigue,treachery,
graphic violence and continuing adult theme.
all I can say, what a way to finish a series leaving you desperate for
the next instalment, i understand series four is still to be filmed
.....can't wait.......This remains a terrific series to follow.
Footnote:- Series four now seems to be underway along with several
new cast members, we have a while to wait before it reaches our Tv
screens, for those perhaps waiting to see series 3 for the first
time will be eager for it's Febuary 2014 release on Blu-Ray and DVD
(not sure why it hasn't already been made available)
('Sky Atlantic' have and continue to bring us superb drama's
such as 'The following' ( recently concluded ) 'Banshee' ( current series )
and starting up for it's third season 'The Borgias' among quite an
impressive list of must-see's )
For me, 'Game of Thrones' is a series right up there with the best both
past and present.
Great package presentation along with a booklet enclosed as usual.
There are extras on each of the 5-discs:
With this purchase there is a Bonus-disc.
Creating the World with visual effects (exclusive to Amazon)
There are a list of 'exclusive to Blu-ray' extras on board including:
* In episode guide
* The rains of Castamere: unveiled.
* Histories and Lore.
* Roots of Westros.
There is also a list of extras I assume are available on both DVD and Blu-ray.
* A gathering storm.
* The politics of marriage.
* Inside the Wildlings
* Audio Commentaries.
* New Characters.
* Deleted scenes/ Extended scenes.
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on 21 April 2013
Game of Thrones is one of the best TV series ever made- period. It's got wonderful production values, one of the finest casts assembled, brilliantly written source material to build fantastic scripts from and Season 3 is possibly - the best one yet. Yes it has issues, for fans of the books it makes more changes, character introductions, some characters cut clean out (Loras not joining the Kingsguard works surprisingly well for the plot) and there's some unnecessary elements added in for comedy - but most of them make sense and benefit the series to streamline an immense book like Storm of Swords into a 10 hour TV series. For non-book fans the pacing is much slower and at the same time there are so many threads and they often get a brief few minutes and then jump cut to the next, and the next. By Episode 6 this stops becoming such a problem and the pacing relaxes. But the episodes are all really strong, the characters and the actors playing them are at their best here. Season 3 covers more like 2/3 rather than 1/2 of Storm of Swords, not going far beyond the events of the Red Wedding which holds the prominent episode 9 slot. Whilst it doesn't end on a dynamic cliffhanger like Season 2 did, Season 3 closes before a book reaches its third act, before the climaxes (yes there are several), which will no doubt feature in Season 4, which will have more space to breathe if it commits solely to Storm of Swords.

So following the events of the Battle of Blackwater and the unseen battle at the Fist of the First Men, Series 3 has a lot to portray, the depleting cause of the Northerners, the union of the Tyrells and the Lannisters in marriage and Daenerys becoming a legendary conqueror with the Unsullied Army which is her main focus for the season. Whilst the cast is exceptional, there are two newcomers in particular who just steal every scene they're in. Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane is almost lovable as the wall-climbing Wildling "I like you boy, but if you lie to me - I'll pull your guts our through your throat." The other is Dianna Riggs' Ollenna Tyrell who plays the Game of Thrones with every Lannister she can find and is one of the finest players, the only character able to put Tyrion down in wordplay, although Tyrion and Tywin's interplay this series is some of the finest ever presented. Also established characters get even more development, Jaime Lannister's character development is fascinating here as he turns from die-cast villain to humility and honor when things get out of hand. Having never liked Daenerys in the previous seasons (she didn't really do much) - her actions here turn her into one of the finest strong-willed characters which begins to remove her entitlement complex in favor of earning her place. Unfortunately knowing where she goes in "Dance of Dragons" it may only last until next season - rarely does the audience get what they want. Meanwhile Tywin gets more time to put down his family members (his scene tutoring Joffrey is legendary) and Tyrion remains a vital member but is no longer the show's star, the responsibility gets spread out. There's barely a weak member of the cast here and be warned for anyone who hasn't seen this season yet - as it is in Storm of Swords, the writers are willing to kill off characters front, left and center. To quote one of the best new members of the cast, Iwan Rheon's chilling Ramsay Snow: "If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention."

One of the best things about the show is that it has made people think, judging by the fanbase; it has the scripting to make the abbhorent be considered possibly accpetable on themes such as incest, child-murder, betrayal and rights and means to lead and rule. How does one excuse a vile person like Jaime Lannister - put them next to someone like Walder Frey or Craster and you have the answer. Complex moral issues for the sake of family and power are constantly raised and the series always makes a good attempt to explore them with a full heart. The production in the season is faultless, the CGI has been put to good use for direwolves, a giant and the quickly growing dragons, while the location work is forever brillaint from the icy wastes of the North to the rolling plains of Slaver's Bay. Even the sex and nudity aspect of the show feels more rationalized with some of them actually contributing to plot and character development (although the writers still like to use the brothel and all that entails). With two weddings passed and one major one yet to come, the set is staged for some epic set pieces that Season 3 has set in motion and Season 4 will no doubt bring. Filled as ever with blood, betrayal and brilliance - Season 3 delivers the best of a Song of Ice and Fire.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 January 2015
The perfect companion to this formidable series is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Game of Thrones is first and foremost one of the most ambitious and creatively challenging (and rewarding) series on television. Secondly, it's mighty dense. If you lack sufficient bandwidth in your memory or you haven't "marathoned" the previous season right before starting the next one, break out the Advil.

Season 3 can be comfortably described as insanely ambitious. In a series that already has so many characters and interwoven storylines, viewers get two fascinating new characters in Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds), the King-Beyond-the-Wall and Olenna Redwyne (Diana Rigg), a new location in Astapor, bands of warriors forgotten since Season 1 and enough fallout and intrigue from Season 2 to last a whole lot longer than 10 episodes (the third book in Martin's series will be split into this season and the next because it was so massive).

In keeping with the no-spoiler rule, all that really needs to be said about Season 3 is that the first four hours are immensely enjoyable and leave you, at the end of each, pleading like a junkie for the next six. This sprawling story being told in only 10 episodes doles out in an hour only precious morsels of plot from a variety of characters and clans, and then abruptly switches to the next character or clan and so on. The end result is, despite the brilliant quality, a bubbling frustration for more, more, more.

However if that's the main drawback of your series -- that viewers are so enraptured that they get frustrated in their desire for additional scenes, episodes or seasons -- then you're doing something truly right. Here's to a dense, layered, enterprising and fascinating journey through Season 3, and as many more seasons as need be to complete this incomparable fantasy.
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VINE VOICEon 23 April 2014
Season 3 of Game of Thrones seals the series place among the pantheon of US television. It is a continuation of the excellence from the first two seasons with the layers of plot, character, and intrigue adding even more richness to what was already something special. The DVD box set is the ten episodes with a small number of extras included.

Perhaps what makes season 3 so impressive is that very little actually happens. It feels so much more real despite the fantasy setting that there are not huge set-pieces, and time is given to character above all else. The characters are fascinating. In season 2 it was Tyrion Lannister to the fore. In season 3 it would be hard to consider him having top billing because his character has fallen back into the pack having lost the position of Hand of the King. Indeed, Tyrion does not appear in every episode, none of the characters are present in all ten.

The force at the capital, King's Landing is now Lannister patriach Tywin. Played by Charles Dance he is an imposing figure. He is not especially large or intimidating but he is forceful, determined, and most importantly successful. Dance brings such stature to the role simply by his personal presence. When he demands things to be done he never needs to raise his voice, he just demands things to be done and they happen. He is the power in season 3. At a meeting of the Small Council, King Joffrey complains that he has to visit Tywin rather than the other way around. The scene concludes with Tyrion incredulous that Tywin has sent the king to bed. Tywin does it simply by dominating personality and that is largely because Charles Dance exudes the impression of his being in charge.

Leadership qualities seem to be the theme of this season, they are tested sorely. Tywin is tested by new arrival Lady Olenna Tyrell. Played by the legendary Diana Rigg, Olenna seems to be Tywin's match. She is a wise and intelligent older lady with a knack for getting what she wants. The pace of her speech is brilliant, the beats are much faster than with any other character on show. It is a clever trick to show her as faster witted than those around her. Even when in the company of Tywin she outpaces him, intellectually she tests his ability to win. The schemes Olenna comes up with are excellent, she is ambitious and clearly aiming to move from being the incumbent second family of Westeros into taking top spot. As de facto head of her household it is a real pleasure to see Olenna and Tywin match wits and to see the limitations of what they can achieve exposed by the other. The scene in which Dance and Rigg cross intellectual swords is magnificent television highlighting two of the great actors of their generations.

Olenna's efforts are backed up by a sense of humour not present in many others. She is laugh out loud funny, taking over from Tyrion as the show's humour. Her one-liners and deprecating sensibilities work so well when accompanied by the ultra professional Lady Margaery Tyrell played by Natalie Dormer. Margaery is one of the few characters who seems to have a rock solid understanding of the environment she operates in. She says all the right things even when provoked by the ever unpleasant Cercei Lannister. Somehow amidst the chaos and intrigue of Game of Thrones, Margaery seems calm at all times. Her knowledge of self is explicitly referenced when she refers to her own pig nose. So brilliant for the writing team to identify Natalie Dormer's main physical weakness and use it so perfectly to portray the character's appreciation of her own place in life.

Not quite all of the casting works so perfectly. Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark seems a bit of a stretch purely because Sansa is described by others as being so very beautiful. The wardrobe and make-up work for Sansa is excellent giving her a rich deep red hue but beautiful Sophie Turner is not. She turns in a perfectly fine performance but as she grows into a woman from the girl we saw in earlier series the description of her from others becomes less believable.

Sansa does appear in the funniest scene of the entire season when stood next to Tyrion. Seeing the dwarf humiliated by his nephew Joffrey to exacerbate the height disparity between Sansa and Tyrion is hilarious. It is also so uncomfortable. Tyrion remains the best depiction of a dwarf ever seen on screen and arguably the best depiction of a person with disabilities, seeing him humbled is a reminder that he is really just another person with his own limitations who can be taken down by others.

The scheming and intrigue at King's Landing is always helped by the presence of the oozing Lord Verys played by Conleth Hill. Alongside seeming nemesis Petry Baelish the two represented the scheming danger of the capital in the previous season. Here they get less screen time which is a shame for Baelish in particular who is an excellent character. Verys though does have one incredible scene where he explains the origin of his eunuch status and what he has done all these years to seek revenge.

The Verys backstory is chilling and adds layers to his previous actions. It seems to pale when compared to the backstory for the Kingslayer, Jaime Lannister played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The backstory is almost a revelation, casting Jaime in a completely different light and perhaps flipping him from funny bad guy to unrecognised hero. Jaime is fascinating to watch because he is such a presence behind his floppy hair and bushy beard. The banter between him and Brienne of Tarth is consistenty genious. The performance by Coster-Waldau is particularly impressive because he has such a perfectly suited voice, he has a well fitting accent that seems just a little bit Americanised to give him ever such a slight touch of the matinee hero. In reality it turns out Coster-Waldau has a really scratchy speaking voice in English so it is amazing to hear him so excellently as Jaime.

The sword fight between Jaime and Brienne is outstanding choreography. It is one of the few fight sequences on display and is done so well because it defies expectations. It really does look as though Jaime is using his fast brain to outwit the more powerful Brienne, levering himself into a position to escape.

What makes Jaime so much more this season is his revelation about the decision making and leadership he had to show and the personal consequences he has suffered for it. The burden of those decisions weighs on several of the characters including the rival claimants to the throne who are all tested. Claimaint Stannis Baratheon is tested because he lost the battle towards the end of season 2. Whether he is able to come back from that defeat is questioned all through season 3. He seems to be a puppet under the control of Melisandre, a belief held by his loyal number two Davos Seaworth. The Stannis style of leadership is hard and direct, it is not subtle or intelligent which makes him vulnerable to Melisandre. Ultimately it is clear that she is the leader rather than he.

The relationship between Stannis and Davos remains one of the most intriguing, Davos continues to demonstrate loyalty beyond anyone else despite the personal peril it puts him in at the hands of Stannis. It is also fascinating to see a bit of Stannis backstory with his family brought into the show for the first time. The hold Melisandre has over all things Baratheon is breathtaking when Stannis addresses his wife about his relationship with the red witch and she tells him how happy she is about it.

Melisandre's leadership stretches beyond Stannis. She makes a trip into the heart of Westeros to intersect with the Brotherhood Without Banners. They are a merry bunch of highwaymen in the Robin Hood style. As an unknown force in season 2 it was not clear the Brotherhood actually existed but when they do turn up they're a band of adventurers with a look and set of skills that could easily make them the core focus of an entire story by themselves. Most amusing of the Brotherhood is Thoros of Myr played by Paul Kaye who has something so reminiscent about Mick Fleetwood in Running Man about him. The Brotherhood is perhaps most interesting because of who they actually are rather than what they seem to be at first.

Perhaps the best line in the entire season crops up at the end of Melisandre and the Brotherhood's interaction when Arya Stark questions why anyone could like Melisandre and in response is told she couldn't understand because she's a girl. There is something about Carice van Houten that makes her so alluring.

Arya herself grows a little during the season, finding herself combined with The Hound. the two are as unlikely a pair as Brienne and Jaime. There are so many great looks in this show but perhaps best of all is The Hound. Rory McCann is a huge guy, the armour he wears and the make-up/wig work is absolutely first rate.

Beyond the wall leadership is of a completely different form. King Beyond The Wall Mance Rayder offers a glimpse of something different. Mance Rayder's leadership is based on a deeper, more fundamental philosophy - for there to be a 'we' there must be a 'them'. Absolutely fascinting as the White Walkers are the driving force behind Mance's leadership. The scene in which Jon Snow offers fealty to the imposing barbarian he thinks is Mance Rayder is really very subtle because it strips away the viewers preconceptions at exactly the same time as Snow's. Leadership is not always about force.

Outside of the main plot line remains Daenerys Targaryen. The leadership challenge she faces is very different, she fought herself up from nothing to take on Qarth in season 2. In season 3 she is leading from the front, her character growing into a major threat. Her morality is a bit too pure to be easy to engage with but her interactions with the slavers of Astapol is excellent. Her interaction with slaver Kraznys mo Nakloz is spectacular. He is so very insulting, it is really quite impressive. Dan Hildebrand is well cast. He looks like a Berber in this show and could credibly pass for one of the North African slavers. The venom with which he spits his insult is beautiful. It helps that his words are translated by the dazzling Nathalie Emmanuel as the character Missandei. As in season 2, Daenerys is accompanied by a vastly more beautiful woman who happened to be played by an actor from Hollyoaks. Interesting that when Missandei leaves the service of Kraznys to join Daenerys she is dressed in much less attractive attire, perhaps a nod to the idea that the viewer is supposed to be looking at Daenerys.

Leadership elsewhere is less successful. The leader beyond the wall is up against a terror greater than any other. It is a shame not to actually see the battle at the Fist of the First Men. Understandably character trumps action but for such a pivotal fight to just gain passing mention feels a bit of a missed opportunity. The story arc for the Night Watch is good but would have been better had it been seen more fully.

More effective is the arc for Robb Stark, King in the North. The episode commonly known as the Red Wedding is absolutely shocking. It might well be the very best episode US television has produced. The performance by Michelle Fairley is specactular, the rawness of her emotion absolutely visceral when she takes what little action she can. It is an incredible part of the arc which is foreshadowed through the season as Robb's leadership fails him. It fails him largely because of his terrible choice of wife. His choice with the Karstarks is wrong. A good man Robb might be but he is not suited for Kingship. Tywin Lannister utters the words which reveal what is going on with the Starks - those who put the family first will win. Stark does not and Red Wedding is the result.

Red Wedding is a real jolt, it seems to change the direction of the show. There are some clues of course but only seen in retrospect, not the least is that anyone with any knowledge of British history and geography would have known Lord Bolton's true allegiance while those who did not should have guessed from his accent.

Red Wedding is not the only shocker. The fate of Theon Greyjoy is hard to watch. Leaving him in season 2 having been dumped in Winterfell, the mystery of why he is being tortured and by whom is only revealed right at the end of season 3. Game of Thrones spares very little for the viewer in seeing quite how savagely Theon is treated. Tough watching.

With such a huge array of people it could easily be difficult to follow the action but it flows so well. This is a testament to the writing and directing. The pacing is so right, things go slowly rather and focus on character rather than action. Dialogue is king. The sets are lavish and utterly believable. The music is pretty good with one exception with the poor choice of a jarring modern rendition of a folk song following the ending to episode 3.

The settings are again superb. The scene with the wall climb is particularly visually impressive. New for this season is Morocco which is instantly recognisable and the perfect place to film scenes set culturally in North Africa.

For such a high quality show the DVD extras are a letdown. There is hardly anything at all on the DVD set. The only notable extra is a short discussion of the importance of marriage as a political tool. Nothing new of course to anyone even vaguely aware of Monarchist systems. However, it is pretty helpful in that it solidifies why Walder Frey took the actions he did - not just revenge but perhaps more importantly to protect himself from the risks resulting from the failure of his use of marriage as a tool. There is an extra about the folk beyond the wall but is not especially enlightening except to highlight the more nuanced backgrounds of those people to incorporate a wider range of accents including Nordic which helps a bit to rectify a problem with accent blending between the North and Beyond the Wall from previous seasons.

The packaging is also a letdown. Compared to the two previous seasons the box is ugly. It comes with a tacky piece of material, is an uninteresting off-white colour, and has a boring shadow of a dragon as the motif. It does not look right sat next to the other two seasons on a shelf.

The accessories aside, Game of Thrones season 3 is magnficent if slightly too short at ten episodes. The show is perhaps the best thing US television has ever produced with now three excellent seasons behind it. The range and depth of characters is breathtaking, the interest in seeing what happens to them built over a period of time and with so many possibilities still left. It is the rare series a viewer might wish could last forever.
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Another stunning, spectacular season as the power struggle intensifies - complete with new contenders and highly dramatic gory exits.

So many have reviewed, some in splendid detail, I shall merely dwell here on the extras.

The lavishly presented box set is crammed with bonuses. (A full printed list of cast and characters would, though, have been appreciated.) A most helpful fourteen minute feature reminds us of the story so far. (Best, of course, seen before venturing on Episode 1). Interestingly we are introduced to the new faces. Twelve commentaries accompany the ten episodes. All contain fine anecdotes and help to clarify certain storylines. They are at their best when a director or writer is included - an overall view then possible, reducing long silences when only cast members are involved.

The series is gripping all the way through, right from surely the most inventive title sequences ever - they changing each episode to focus on the kingdoms about to be visited.

Fans will have their favourite moments, there so many from which to choose. Few would argue that one episode has particular impact. When first shown it had viewers gaping in disbelief - then rushing online to share their grief and horror. (No wonder two stars in the accompanying commentary become so emotional, one of them watching the events for the first time.)

Great talents have converged to produce one of television's most acclaimed drama series. Full concentration is needed in order to keep up. No problem, many only too grateful for a good reason to see everything again.
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on 23 February 2014
Most purchasers will already know how great the show is, so I will concentrate on some of the extras instead, There are plenty of deleted scenes which are worth watching and the 'Histories & Lore' section voiced by various cast members is superb, giving lots of historical background to the series. I particularly liked the Varys and Petyr Baelish discussion about the final days of the Targaryan dynasty. Another highpoint is the feature on the politics of marriage in Westeros.
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on 11 June 2014
Cancel your social life, quit your job and never answer the phone again. It's worth it - this is television at it's finest. And that's a bold claim coming from someone who doesn't own a television.

If you've never watched or read Game Of Thrones before, I can tell you that it starts off intriguing, gets good, gets very good, turns shocking, gets more shocking and from then on every episode becomes, "wasn't I supposed to pick the kids up from school?" By the way, if you have kids, do not let them watch Game Of Thrones because it has prostitution, nudity, violence, gore, regicide, decapitation, poisoning, skull-crushing, rape, incest, murder, attempted child-murder, unborn baby stabbing, throat-slitting, swearing, flaying, torture, castration... makes for one hell of a drinking game.

On Season 3 in particular - well, the cast of characters is now vast it's a credit to all the actors and writers involved that there isn't a single dull one, although inevitably some are better than others. The production of the show is near-flawless: whether it's Kings Landing or the cities of Slavers Bay, no expense is spared on the locations, costumes, cinematography, props and visual effects required to bring the world of Westeros to life. In one sense the show is formulaic, with most scenes given over to two characters having a chat at any given time, and yet this is where the characters and the chemistry between them come to life. What's magical is that the most opposite characters you can think of go on to have the strongest relationships - Arya Stark and Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane are a fine example.

By investing so heavily in the characters and relationships of the show, and by having them all expend so much energy in scheming, politicking and earning millions of Tesco Clubcard points in sheer duplicity, the creators of the show always ensure that the aforementioned scheming and plotting often results in a spectacular and unexpected disaster that invariably results in the death and destruction of said characters. I believe this is what gives the show it's addictive quality. There is one episode in particular on this boxset that demonstrates the full effect of this formula, and it's so notorious that there are videos all over YouTube made by friends of first-time watchers simply filming their reactions, which are just astounding to watch.

So, just buy it. It's worth it.
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on 8 May 2014
"Game of Thrones" is a fantasy series aired on HBO, based on George R. R. Martin's fantasy novels "A Song of Ice and Fire". The plot is set in the fictitious lands of Westeros and Essos, where a power struggle for the Iron Throne rages between different noble houses after the murder of the old king. This DVD contains the episodes of the third season, and is notable for the episode "The Rains of Castamere", in which several of the main characters are brutally slain, disregarding every conventional idea about how TV should be made. But then, we've seen it "Lost".

I admit that I'm not an engaged super-fan of "Game of Thrones", but like most people, I nevertheless find myself watching every episode. Why? No idea, really. As I said in my review of Season Two, this is simply a remake of the European Early Middle Ages, with some Roman and "Oriental" spices thrown in. In contrast to most fantasy, Martin's story has very little supernatural flavour, and the whole plot feels just as meaningless as medieval history. We're talking blood feuds, civil wars, arranged marriages, orgies, strange new religions frequently even worse than the old ones... Europe around AD 600?

Ironically, it could be the incredibly complex plot (or rather parallel plots) which makes the trick. That, and the colourful characters, makes it difficult not to find *something* of interest. A bit like a Swedish smorgasbord, I suppose? And yes, many viewers love the nudity or pretend to abhor the violence...

Personally, I found the unapologetic, politically incorrect Orientalism of the Daenerys Targaryen subplot a real guilty pleasure. A blond, Nordic valkyrie liberating Black slaves and challenging effeminate and vile "Semites"... I'm surprised nobody started a culture war over this? Instead, people pretended to be upset when mad king Joffrey turned out to be a homophobe. LOL! Oh, and yes, the strange new religion of the Red Priestess is really an allegory for Christianity, not Zoroastrianism. But please don't tell anyone, because that could *really* start something...

I will probably watch the fourth season of "Game of Thrones", whenever Swedish public service TV sees fit to show it. Next year?

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on 15 April 2014
If you’re looking at reviews of season three then it is inevitable that you’re already captivated by this epic masterpiece of TV fantasy. We re-watched seasons one and two as a bit of essential preparative revision and have, as with previous seasons, watched this one twice back-to-back. A second viewing is essential, especially as we have a whole raft of new characters, to really get to enjoy the fiendish complexity of the interwoven narrative threads. Some very minor spoilers follow in the next paragraph…

The seven kingdoms of Wersteros become ever more disparate as the civil war continues with Rob Stark leading the men of the North against the unspeakable King Joffrey while nobody is paying any attention to events north of the wall with Jon Snow as the Wildlings head south against the inexorable approach of winter and concomitant White Walkers. At the same time, Daenerys with attendant splendid dragons is trying to raise an army to help restore the Targaryen throne while Stannis licks his metaphorical wounds and falls further under the thrall of the red witch. That just covers the main story arcs. Add into that mix Arya’s journey and the Brotherhood Without Banners, Jamie Lannister & Brienne and Bran’s very separate quests, the ascendancy Margaery Tyrell and, as ever, the irrepressibly brilliant Tyrion and the improbably likeable Varys hold King’s Landing together as things are not all sweetness and light in the house of Lannister.

There is just so much going on in so many places that it is impossible to grasp all of the subtleties even after a second viewing. Just for a change, there is a really useful Blu-ray special feature – the ‘in episode guide’ allows you to see who is doing what where; really handy on the first viewing with so many new characters to keep track of.

With a lot of getting from A to B and a lack of set piece scenes, this season gives the feeling of getting all of the chess pieces in the right place ready for a tumultuous fourth season. That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t more than a few surprises along the way. Well done, again, HBO – splendid stuff.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 February 2014
My favourite TV dramas are Mad Men, House, Rome and The Wire. Never read the Songs books or anything similar. I felt Season 1 was okay but Season 2 was really good.

What irritates me is the lack of an ending. I know it is a continuing saga but what you really want to see is always up ahead. Its weakness is too much story telling and not enough visual action. Having said that, the political and social back-biting is often fascinating to witness unravel. For a loner like myself the insistence on 'relationships' driving the narrative does inspire boredom.

The best of all Seasons Game of Thrones would struggle to fill a two hour disc. Top of the list would be anything with the Babe and her dragons. Then the fighting sequences. Then scenes of scale in a baron landscape. Climbing that ice wall was exciting. And the wedding in Episode 10 was worthy of The Godfather films.

Apart from the aforementioned Babe other stand-out characters are the dwarf (his intelligence and insight), the eunach (what revenge he has!) and the turgid King Joffrey (you know he's going to die bad).

Its heading for a showdown between the right-wing Charles Dance with his 'family' method of long term survival and the Babe with her love of individual freedom. Except for dragons.

For me they are well worth a one watch rental but no more.
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