Saturday, March 08, 2014
Game Of Thrones - Season 3 Review
US Airdate: March 31st-June 9th 2013
Nice Day For A Red Wedding: This show started off impressively with a first season that provided many a talking point moment and with it's second season, it remained gripping television. However, it's with this third season in particular that it felt like the show elevated to new heights with nearly all of the characters being pushed into some exciting and often tragic situations.
Robb Stark and mother Catelyn are a great example of the latter as the former's betrayal of Walder Frey (David Bradley at his most horrid) resulted in the most discussed event from the series history. The Red Wedding was going to be the shocker of the season and like the events of Blackwater and Baelor, it was something packed a massive punch in the closing moments of the penultimate episode. If there's one thing I've learned about this show, it's that the weddings are always going to be a bloodbath in some capacity.
Even on the rare occasion where there is a wedding without death following behind it, an unpleasant undertone is still ever present. This season alone, both Sansa and Tyrion are forced into a marriage neither of them and both Tywin (Charles Dance also at his most horrid) and current antichrist ruler, Joffrey taking pleasure in the events a little too much.
It's not much of a joyous season for Tyrion when you think about it. Being forced into marrying Sansa is one thing, but being stripped of the being the hand and having to keep his growing relationship with Shae is another, the only real ally he had this season was Varys come to this of.
As for the Lannisters, well they definitely had better luck than the Starks but their rivalry and mutual alliance with the Tyrells was certainly worth watching. Whether it was Cersei's barely concealed jealousy of the always likeable Margaery or Tywin's clashes with the formidable Olenna (Diana Rigg on fine form), the dynamic between these two families was constantly entertaining to watch. It looks like the Lannisters are out of their depth with their new relations.
Keeping with the Lannisters, while it took all of this season for Jaime to actually return to Kings Landing, his rapport with Brienne was another highlight of the season. This season has done a lot to soften my opinion of Jaime, even to go as far as to enrich the character as well and it's become increasingly hard not to love Brienne either for that.
As for Daenerys - the previous season felt rather meandering for her but this one on the other hand might be her best one yet. When she wasn't sacking cities, freeing the Unsullied and employing Missandei, she became something of a figure of liberation to others and her quest to become a queen and slew of new alliance certainly means she's in with a fighting chance at the moment.
Last but not least, there's also the relationship with Jon Snow and Wildling Ygritte, which started off well enough and took a sour turn towards the end of the season while Bran and Arya both make some new alliances themselves and gear towards their own destinies while Theon literally suffers for his actions from last season at the hands of the sadistic Ramsay (Iwan Rheon). Overall, it's certainly a busy season for nearly every character involved, though the scenes with Stannis and Melisandre are probably some of the least compelling moments of the season. Does anyone actually want Stannis as a ruler? Didn't think so.
There's a lot once again. Twelve commentaries for nine episodes (only episode one is commentary free, oddly enough) with various cast and crew members as well as deleted and extended scenes, character profiles on our new players this season, a behind the scenes on the penultimate episode, an overview of the season and features in relation to marriage, the relationships in Westeros and of course, the Wildlings. More than enough to be getting on with, I'd say.
3x01: Valar Dohaeris = 9/10, 3x02: Dark Wings, Dark Words = 8/10,
3x03: Walk Of Punishment = 7/10, 3x04: And Now His Watch Is Ended = 10/10,
3x05: Kissed By Fire = 8/10, 3x06: The Climb = 9/10,
3x07: The Bear And The Maiden Fair = 8/10, 3x08: Second Sons = 9/10,
3x09: The Rains Of Castamere = 10/10, 3x10: Mhysa = 9/10
Season 3 is currently available on DVD.