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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.8: Second Sons
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Goodman   |  
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 Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 8 Second Sons

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 8 – “Second Sons”
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: May 19, 2013

I was not impressed with “Second Sons.”

There’s normally a point each season that I reach with Game of Thrones, where one of the later episodes in the season becomes just too predictable or flat out boring. The latter certainly isn’t the case, as there are plenty of individually strong moments throughout the episode, but the sum of the parts doesn’t work to something I’m excited about. Which is sad, all things considered, because the strong parts in this episode are good. So let’s start with the good.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.7: The Bear and The Maiden Fair
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Goodman   |  
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 Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 7 The Bear And Maiden Fair
Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 7 – “The Bear And The Maiden Fair”
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Written by George R.R. Martin
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: May 12, 2013

I find it rather fitting that the title of Game of Thrones‘ seventh episode focuses so much on a particular pairing, considering that the episode spends so much time on duos of characters instead of individual characters. “The Bear And The Maiden Fair” is a quieter affair, (scripted by George R.R. Martin and directed by the incredible Michelle MacLaren), that works as what will probably become the calm before the storm, leading into the final three episodes of this season.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.6: The Climb
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Goodman   |  
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 Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 6 The Climb

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 6 – “The Climb”
Directed by Alex Graves
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: May 5, 2013

“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, they refuse, they cling to the realm or the gods or love or illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”

Littlefinger’s (Aidan Gillen) speech is a very much on the nose, as “The Climb,” the sixth episode of season 3 of Game Of Thrones, sees various characters trying to progress forward in some capacity, but the core of his speech – that often those who are provided opportunities normally only get one chance at something – rings true for many characters tonight.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.5: Kissed By Fire
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 5 – “Kissed by Fire”
Directed by Alex Graves
Written by Bryan Gogman
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: April 28, 2013

While we often think of fire as a heat source or a weapon, more often than not, fire illuminates our path and helps shows us what’s true. After weeks of epic television, Game of Thrones‘ fifth episode, “Kissed by Fire,” allows most of characters to look at the paths they’ve chosen before deciding (or having someone choose for them) their new fate.

Jamie’s life has certainly turned out much different than I believe he originally intended. In the episode’s strongest scene, Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) explains to Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) the ‘secret origin’ of the Kingslayer name, detailing the mad king’s obsession with wildfire and how he planned to burn the city down, men, women, and children all. So, Jamie took matters into his own hands. This is battered and beaten Jamie Lannister, far different from the attempted child-killer we saw in the first season. We know that version of Jamie still lurks below, but the journey and evolution of the character is very different now than before.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.4: And Now His Watch Is Ended
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones 3.4 And Now His Watch Is Ended

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 4 – “And Now His Watch Is Ended”
Directed by Alex Graves
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: April 21, 2013

Well. That was certainly something.

With the nature of the Internet and spoilers, I already knew about this week’s big Game of Thrones event. But as the episode progressed, I realized there was plenty of excitement to be found before Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) blows the doors clear off this season.

Continue reading for more, but beware of heavy spoilers if you’re not yet caught up.

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TV Review: Game of Thrones 3.1: Valar Dohaeris
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones Season 3 Premiere - Valar Dohaeris - Review

Season 3 of Game of Thrones premiered tonight on HBO after a long year of waiting. What’s the latest in the Seven Kingdoms? Hit the jump to find out.

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 1 – Valar Dohaeris
Directed by Daniel Minahan
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: March 31, 2013

Due to the sheer number of characters and plots that Game of Thrones juggles at one time, it’s not entirely surprising that we didn’t check in with everyone in this premiere episode. And that’s fine, considering how strong the material was that we were shown tonight, I’m perfectly all right with the fact that next week’s episode will probably highlight some of my favorite plots and characters (Arya and Jamie storylines come specifically to mind).

That aside, tonight’s quieter season premiere was very, very strong.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 2.10: Valar Morghulis
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones Review

Game of Thrones
Season Two, Episode 10 – Valar Morghulis
Directed by Alan Taylor
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Starring Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Carice van Houten, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright

When I reviewed the Season 1 finale of Game of Thrones, I felt that episode played more like the first episode of the second season, more than it felt like a closer. There were too many hanging plots, with few elements drawing to a close. In retrospect, part of that feeling may have come from the fact that I truly felt that Ned Starks’ death would have been an amazing way to end the season, but I understand wanting to provide some sense of finality to that first season and Ned’s death would not have been the way to accomplish that goal.

After “Blackwater” last week, I was concerned that the show might pull the same trick twice (considering the ending structure for both Season 1 and Season 2 played out in a similar fashion – huge, event, water-cooler worthy penultimate episode, followed by a slower, picking up the pieces episode to close out the season). However, I was glad to see the show draw some of the various plots to pause, rather than an end.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 2.9: Blackwater
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones - Blackwater Review

Game of Thrones
Season Two, Episode 9 – Blackwater
Directed by Neil Marshall
Written by George R.R. Martin
Starring Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Carice van Houten, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright

I feel like the phrase ‘event television’ is a bit of a misnomer. Very few shows ever fully rise to that title. In fact, the only show I feel that’s ever fully risen to event TV is Lost. After a new episode, it was talked about for days on end.

I don’t think there’s a show that’s lived up to those expectations and level of hysteria and hype. The most recent Game Of Thrones episode, “Blackwater,” is the answer to those expectations.

For weeks now, HBO has been building up this ninth episode to be this epic event. Stories have been told about the production behind it, how HBO gave extra money for this episode specifically in order to make sure it was done properly, thus creating a legend equal to the episode itself.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 2.8: A Prince of Winterfell
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones Review for 5.21

Game of Thrones
Season Two, Episode 8 – A Prince of Winterfell
Directed by Alan Taylor
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Starring Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Carice van Houten, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright

I wasn’t blown away by Game of Thrones Episode 8, “A Prince of Winterfell.” That’s not to say there weren’t individual moments throughout the episode I enjoyed, but I felt it was lacking as a whole. My major quarrel with the series has been that it spends a lot of time setting up plots to pay off later on down the line and after several weeks of payoff, we had another setup episode.

I get what the show’s trying to do. There’s been a warning throughout the course of the season that something major was coming and most of this week is building up towards this major event.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 2.7: A Man Without Honor
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Goodman   |  
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GOT - A Man Without Honor Review

Game of Thrones
Season Two, Episode 7 – A Man Without Honor
Directed by David Nutter
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Starring Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Carice van Houten, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright

Early on in Games Of Thrones Episode 7, “A Man Without Honor,” Theon (Alfie Allen) states, “It’s just a game,” which obviously serves to comment on the series as a whole, but it also describes most of the characters’ intentions throughout the episode: each one of them is playing a smaller game in the context of a much larger and deadlier one.

Arya (Maisie Williams) and Tywin (Charles Dance) continue to be my favorite part of the show week to week. After last week’s killing, Tywin is searching top to bottom for the man who “made an attempt on his life” punishing those who aren’t giving up the proper details. The two go back and forth in another powerful scene, each trying their hardest to either get or hide information from one another. The scene is a perfect example of how the entire series works as a whole, scaled down and played out over the course of several minutes and plays for beautiful television.

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