on 25 February 2016
Need to bring this up off the bat. Series three for me contained more scenes of gore, torture and psychological catastrophes than any of the series before it, it also contained the usual amount of nudity and swear words... so how is this the season that's rated a 15 when the previous seasons were 18s? Its mad! I digress.
Definitely the strongest season so far with more twists and turns, betrayals and life changing events. Introducing a few new characters, namely the evil Ramsey Snow of house Bolton (If you thought Joffrey was bad wait until you get a load of this lunatic). As previously quiet and obedient houses and bannermen begin to make a mark for themselves on westeros.
Stannis licks his wounds after his defeat in season two, becoming ever more obsessed with his new God and the Red Woman Melisandre, desperately trying to recuperate and get back in the game as a contender for the throne. Making life hard for his ever suffering but loyal second in command Davos as he attempts to reason with his Zealot obsessed king. Davos is such a likeable character and his loyalty to Stannis is both heart warming and heart breaking as we watch Davos desperately play off and counter the many savage suggestions of the religious Melisandre, with great chemistry between all three characters you can feel the tension in the room with every scene as the two confidants battle for their kings mind which is forever unbalanced and as likely to take either side depending on his mood.
Daenerys begins her liberation of slavers bay quickly gaining momentum and power throughout the series in the way only the dragon born can, quickly becoming the most powerful character in the show, gathering more and more allies to her cause, she becomes seemingly unstoppable, yet remains one of the viewers favourite candidates for the throne as she shows again and again compassion and fairness for the people she comes into contact with, really becoming the light in this dark world. Followed by her loyal and love struck aid Jorah he also has new challenges to face as he finds himself in competition with the new allies flocking to her side, including the humiliated Commander of the Kings Guard from season one Ser Barristen Selmy and the handsome Daario Naharis of the Second Sons mercenaries.
Robb Stark once again faces betrayal as he attends his grandfathers funeral in River Run, introducing us at last to the Tullys including the humorous Blackfish and the Mr Bean of Westeros; Edmure Tully. Watching Robb struggle to handle the political aspect is quite sad as we watch the young wolf, who has never lost a battle decline purely due to his lack of political leadership and his restricting honour, both marching him towards a fate like his fathers. The similarities between Ned and Robb become more apparent as he makes foolish decisions all in vain attempts to do the right thing or make up for mistakes made, all culminating in one of the most memorable and terrible scenes of the entire show.
Theon Greyjoy, probably has the worst time of it in this season, after his betrayal of Robb in season two he finds himself captured by an unknown assailant and very very violently tortured both Physically and psychologically as well as mutilated, forever distorting and changing the character into somebody entirely new. Despite his betrayals and actions in season two you really begin to feel for the character again very early on, even forgiving his actions as he confesses how he really feels about himself and is made the play thing of the sadistic Ramsey Snow. Some fantastic acting done by both actors in all of their scenes really making for a horrible experience for viewers, i fear this may be the last season we ever see Theon Greyjoy...
Tyrion continues to play the game in kings landing, battling with his sister for their fathers approval who has now taken his place as Hand of the King. Tyrion now has a harder time keeping his head above water, struck from all his power by his father, Tyrion is left vulnerable to the cruelty of Joffrey who continues to enjoy torturing his subjects. Watching him keep his composure under such odds and witnessing the cruelty of his father first hand, Tyrion remains a solid favourite of the fans, who after his heroes exploits in season two deserves a lot more than he gets in this season.
Jon Snow follows his new Wildling lifestyle while ever secretly looking for an opportunity to escape back to his fellow men of the nights watch, Jon Snow begins to realise the real threat to Westeros and begins to understand that the only way to win the real war is unity... something nobody else wants. Breaking his nights watch vows and literally skating on real thin ice Jon begins to craft himself as the hero Westeros needs.
Jaime Lannister continues life as captive, with the ever honourable and faithful Brienne charged with transporting him the two run into all sorts of adventures on their way to Kings Landing, including run ins with not so honourable Stark Soliders, farmers and then the sadistic soldiers of house Bolton and their leader Lock. Survival looks bleak for the pair and as Jaime attempts his usual charm and smarmy talk to get out of a situation it backfires changing his life forever, if he survives.
Overall, definitely the best season so far, completely shifting the power around the country and countless heartbreaking revelations and moments, this is the defining season that will make and break lifelong fans, if you though the execution of Ned Stark was the pinnacle of Game of Thrones, that seems like childs play after this season.
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.
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.
on 18 April 2014
This TV series just keeps getting better and better. I only recently discovered Game of Thrones, having stupidly thought it was about some sort of fantasy computer game and so avoided it in the past. I was lent the videos for series 1 and 2 whilst whilst working away in Africa recently and became totally hooked. I watched them straight through. It's like Lord of the Rings meets War of The Roses, with a brilliant cast and a great script. I haven't read the books but I'm very tempted to after this, and have downloaded some audible books to enjoy too. The filming is great, the locations fantastic, and the story enthralling. The only thing I find rather odd is the gratuitous sex scenes. It's not that I'm a prude or anything, it's just that the story is so good, it just really doesn't need the sex scenes and unfortunately I can't let my kids watch it because of that. What a shame that is. I ordered series 3 upon my return from Africa and you guessed it, I watched it from start to finish. I just could stop, it's that riveting. Trouble is now I can't wait for Series 4 and don't have Sky TV.
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.
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.
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 before...in "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?
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.
on 16 May 2014
Game of Thrones season three continues with its epic, melodramatic story. The ante is upped this time with more power struggles and various new characters vying to make their mark.
This season sees many of the central characters disbanded and thrown into uncomfortable situations. Here we see Jamie paired up with Brianne slowly forming a close relationship. In fact Jamie’s character arc is one of the more fascinating going from an absolutely hateful person to someone who evidently has a softer side.
Brandon is slowly traversing Westeros with his unlikely band of heroes and picks up some new helpers along the way whilst bumping into some familiar faces.
As for the rest of the Starks, troubling times are ahead and they provide the meat for one of the most unexpected (if you have not read the books) twists in recent memory.
Game of Thrones continues to enthral and excite with its gratuitous violence and over the top story telling. Dynasty with swords springs to mind. With more money, interesting characters and a story arc that is continuously gathering speed, you can’t help but be swept up in it all.
One of telly’s guiltiest pleasures.
on 22 March 2014
Having read all the books I couldn't wait to watch Game of Thrones and thoroughly enjoyed Seasons 1 and 2. Alas I found Season 3 very disjointed as though they were trying to cram as much in as possible and the result is you are jumping from character to character very quickly and the smooth flow of the story is lost. For anyone who has read the books you can work out the missing bits but for someone who hasn't read the books I think they might find it hard to work out the various story plots. All in all I found season 3 disappointing and doubtful if I will bother buying the next season. Pity because the acting is superb as well as the action scenes.