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TV Review: Game of Thrones 3.3: Walk of Punishment
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Goodman   |  
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Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 3 Walk of Punishment

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 3 – Walk of Punishment
Directed by David Benioff
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 14, 2013

“Walk of Punishment” is another keeping up with the Joneses episode of Game of Thrones, but when we’re juggling as many characters as this show does, that’s bound to happen. What’s important about this episode is the set up. Lots of fuses are beginning to be lit and by the time the episode is over, a few of them already beginning to explode.

The biggest fuse has to be Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). As the Mother of Dragons walks along the episode’s namesake, we see her gamble the biggest thing she has to lose. I use the word gamble here very specifically. I think Daenerys is building something here. To give away what she does in the manner she does it speaks to a larger plan. It’s a shocking move (in an episode with a totally shock ending) that will have some real consequences.

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TV Review: Game of Thrones 3.2: Dark Wings, Dark Words
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones: Dark Wings, Dark Words Review

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 2 – Dark Wings, Dark Words
Directed by Daniel Minahan
Written by Vanessa Taylor
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 7, 2013

Trust has always been a common thread throughout Game of Thrones, and that theme takes center stage in “Dark Wing, Dark Words.” This second episode of Season 3 checks-in with the rest of the cast missing from last week’s episode and works as the second part of that premiere. So much so that I wish HBO had just put the two episodes together. Alas, we’re finally ready to move into the season proper now that all the pieces are seemingly in place.

First and foremost, Arya (Maisie Williams) continues to be one of my favorite characters. The young Stark finds herself far out of her league when she run across the Brotherhood Without Banners. I have a feeling this is where she’ll stay for most of the season, which is interesting considering how strong I find her interactions with the group to be.

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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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Blu-ray Review: Game Of Thrones: The Complete Second Season
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Game of Thrones Season 2 Blu-ray Image

Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season
Blu-ray | DVD
CREATORS: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, George R. R. Martin (author)
STARRING: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Richard Madden, Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Stephen Dillane, Conleth Hill, Aidan Gillen, Kit Harington, Maisie Williams, Iain Glen, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Jack Gleeson, Sophie Turner, Alfie Allen, Liam Cunningham, James Cosmo, Rory McCann, Gethin Anthony, Gwendoline Christie, Carice van Houten, Joe Dempsie, Charles Dance, Donald Sumpter, Kristian Nairn, John Bradley, Sibel Kekilli, Natalia Tena, Finn Jones, Oona Chaplin, Natalie Dormer, Nonso Anozie, Rose Leslie
HBO
RELEASE DATE: February 19, 2013

I’ve developed something of a young tradition, one that I hope to continue for the next handful of years or so…if the old gods and the new see fit. As someone who was introduced to George R.R. Martin‘s “A Song of Ice and Fire” universe by HBO’s adaptation of the books (I read, but not nearly as much as others), Game of Thrones, I, like many others—much to the chagrin of readers who had been singing its praises for years—instantly found myself obsessed with this incredibly detailed world, its unique and complex characters, and a long, rich history that could force many aspiring writers to retire their quills for the rest of their days.

After the first season came and went and instantly became one of my favorite new shows, the next logical step was to jump into the books. A year is a tortuous amount of time to wait for something this good. And while most people already knew how brilliant the books were, I soon found out that reading through after seeing the season was an exciting way to add new layers to the story. As I was nearing the end of the first book, the first season was getting ready to arrive on Blu-ray and DVD and season two was nearing its premiere. And so it began. As I write this I near the end of book two, I’m rewatching season two (and all the wonderful special features) on Blu-ray, and season three of the show inches ever closer.

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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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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 2.6: The Old Gods And The New
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones Review for May 7

Game of Thrones
Season Two, Episode 6 – The Old Gods And The New
Directed by: David Nutter
Written by: Vanessa Taylor
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

We’ve been reminded throughout most of Season 2 of Game of Thrones that “the night is dark and full of terrors,” and most events throughout the course of these episodes have been reminders of this fact, but “The Old Gods And The New” (Episode 6) takes Melisandre’s oft repeated words and brings them to light in truly terrifying ways.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 2.5: The Ghost Of Harrenhal
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones: The Ghost of Harrenhal Review

Game of Thrones
Season Two, Episode 5 – The Ghost of Harrenhal
Directed by: David Petrarca
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

Now things are getting interesting.

“The Ghost of Harrenhal” is an arbitrarily important episode of Game of Thrones for several reasons. First, this fifth episode of Season 2 marks the halfway point in the season. Second, and more importantly, this is the episode (much like last week’s) continues some much needed plot advancement in a truly compelling manner by presenting each of our major players with a unique strategic advantage or ally.

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