Game of Thrones, season 3

"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, but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love – illusions. Only the ladder is real...the climb is all there is." - Lord Petyr Baelish

release year: 2013
genre: TV fantasy/drama
viewing setting: home Bluray 3/6-10/19

synopsis: While the war rages on, numerous characters embark (willingly or otherwise) on side adventures of their own.

impressions: More of the same: a medieval soap opera with violence and sex and magic and monsters. New monsters this season: giants, wargs (which are actually people who can see through the eyes of, and control, animals) plus dragons growing larger, and a large force of zombies. As before, the plot and events are extremely complex, and accordingly, stupid people shouldn't watch this show.

acting: One thing that won't change in any of my season reviews of this show: there's a huge ensemble cast, and I'm not going to talk about all of the characters. Those who stood out the most in season three: Peter Dinklage is the dwarf son of nobility, who for some reason sticks around in a kingdom ruled by those who hate him and make fun of him. Lena Headey is the evil queen regent who's losing control of her king son and can't deal with it, and so gets worse. Jack Gleeson is her spoiled little king son who has a fearsome sadistic streak. Charles Dance is the ruthless father to both of them, and basically rules the kingdom that's supposed to be ruled by his grandson. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is his other son, who spends most of this season captured and tortured. Gwendoline Christie is a hulking warrior woman who's tasked with guarding him. Maisie Williams is the little girl who's becoming more and more seasoned and ruthless every day. Sophie Turner is her older sister, who's just stupid (and even says so in one short but accurate scene.) Emilia Clarke is an exiled noblewoman and barbarian widow who has dragons and gets an army too. Alfie Allen is a treacherous minor lord who pays the price for his deeds. Kit Harington is a bastard son who falls in with his former enemies in the frozen north. New characters include Diana Rigg as a shrewd and blunt old noblewoman, and Nathalie Emmanuel as a former slave who speaks 19 languages. I also realized that Julian Glover (who was the main bad guy in For Your Eyes Only) is the lecherous old master in the royal court, and Kristofer Hivju (who was the evil henchman in Fate of the Furious) is the wildling chief Tormund Giantsbane. There are dozens more, I could go on all day.

notable scenes: In episode 4, Daenerys utterly outwits the slavers. In episode 9, the infamous Red Wedding brutally kills off some main characters.

final word: Good, if complex, medieval intrigue and mayhem.

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