Skip to main content

Newsweek: "Here Be Dragons: Season 3 of HBO's Game of Thrones Reviewed"

Based on a 1,000-page novel, the third season of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ is the best—and most complex—one we’ve seen yet.

In this week's issue of Newsweek (and online at The Daily Beast), you can read my latest feature, "Here Be Dragons: Season 3 of HBO's Game of Thrones Reviewed," in which I review the first four episodes of Season 3 of HBO's Game of Thrones, which might just be the best season yet.

When it launched in 2011, HBO’s fantasy drama Game of Thrones quickly became part of the global collective consciousness, an often brutally violent and staggeringly beautiful series that offered viewers an immersive television experience.

Based on the gargantuan bestselling novel series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones depicts the bloody and vicious battle for control of the Iron Throne in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, a fictional world that bears a resemblance to medieval Europe ... if Europe had once been the home of magic, dragons, and a long-slumbering ancient evil. However, unlike most fantasy stories, Game of Thrones presents a complex morality that is far more nuanced than simply the forces of good vs. evil. Here, good men are killed while the wicked are rewarded; innocence suffers in the face of depravity; and everyone has a personal agenda to advance, a knife hidden behind the most beatific of smiles.

Season 3 of Game of Thrones kicks off on HBO on March 31 with 10 episodes that are based on Martin’s perhaps most beloved novel, A Storm of Swords, a hefty 1,000-page tome that is by far the most complicated and intricate of the five books in the series to date. It is a sweeping saga that flits between dozens of narrators and across continents—from the sultry heat of Slaver’s Bay to the raw iciness beyond the Wall—as alliances are formed and broken, lives taken, and conspiracies hatched.

ranslating such a monumental work of fiction to the screen is no easy feat, and executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have done an incredible job thus far in balancing the needs of diehard fans, the demands of the story, and a sense of accessibility to those viewers who don’t detect the nuances between the Dothraki and High Valyrian tongues. Adaptation, particularly of an ongoing series, is a fluid, mercurial thing, and the show’s executive producers have proven largely capable of shifting content, paring it down, and inventing new material in order to make the narrative fit within the confines of a weekly television series.

Season 3, which will depict roughly the first half of Martin’s A Storm of Swords, will present Benioff and Weiss with their greatest challenge yet, as both sides attempt to pick up the pieces after the last season’s climactic Battle of the Blackwater. The first four episodes of the new season, provided to critics ahead of its premiere, demonstrate a canny ability to fuse the literary with the visual, resulting in an exhilarating and magnificent thing of beauty, particularly in those scenes that make full use of locations as diverse as Iceland, Croatia, and Morocco.

Continue reading at The Daily Beast...


Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas