Customer Review

211 of 234 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Storm of Swords brought to life, 21 April 2013
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This review is from: Game of Thrones - Season 3 [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
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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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Jun 2013 21:50:15 BDT
roughjock says:
couldn't agree more a giant series let down - slightly- by the b movie sex scenes. otherwise brilliantly acted and directed.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Aug 2013 21:19:10 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Aug 2013 21:32:11 BDT
The Avenger says:
The acting in this series has always been 1st rate. Diana Rigg, as you say, is great. I kept wondering if she wished she had gotten the Maggie Smith role in Downton Abbey as her acting and acid-tongue barbs are so similar! Well they are both Dames after all!!However, as you mention, the pace in this 3rd series is not just slow it actually stops! Too many early episodes have barely, if any, plot development. I don't know if this was deliberate so as to make the "shock" moments that come later on (no spoilers) even more shocking. However this wasn't enough to make this 3rd series as a whole as compelling as the first 2 series, which I hugely enjoyed. For the first time I didn't feel huge anticipation for the next series. I will watch to see how it goes but the next series/ season had better improve or i'm not playing this game anymore!

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2014 04:05:26 GMT
Ekka says:
Let down considerably more than slightly by its gratuitous exhibitionism (and worse), in fact.

Sad to see Diana Rigg involved with such a production.

Posted on 2 Apr 2014 18:30:11 BDT
Brilliant it is. Shame that ever single DVD in the box set is damaged. It ruins the enjoyment and is a disgrace! Shame Of Thrones!

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2014 12:59:56 GMT
Really? She could be involved in worse productions than one of the biggest shows ever made for television. But alas, if a few sex scenes means that this is an awful show (in your eyes) then I suggest you stick with Downton Abbey
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