Starring: Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Summary: The show centers on a civil war between numerous noble families for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, while an exiled girl is trying to make her way across the narrow sea and build an army in order to reclaim her right for the throne.
Genre(s): Fantasy, Special Interest, Action, Thriller, Suspense, Adventure, Drama, Horror
Game Of Thrones is considered one of the greatest television accomplishments of the past decade and is a worldwide phenomenon. It has garnered plenty of success due to its devoted fans, its increasingly huge viewership and its positive critical appraisal.
The HBO fantasy drama is based on the George R.R Martin book series titled “A Song Of Ice And Fire” and created by David Benioff and D.B Weiss who closely follow the events of the books while changing some stories and scenes, adding a few characters and removing certain storylines. The show is set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos and revolves around a civil war between numerous noble families for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, while an exiled girl is trying to make her way across the narrow sea and build an army in order to reclaim her right for the throne. Finally, a threatening winter is on its way and many dangerous wild creatures live north of the Wall.
Game Of Thrones reached new records for HBO in terms of viewership, and its popularity has spread internationally. Also, the show has received 182 nominations for its first four seasons including 42 Emmy Awards, and won a total of 59 awards for its cast (especially Peter Dinklage), art direction, makeup, costumes, sound mixing/editing and visual effects.
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After the death of the King’s Hand Jon Arryn, Eddard (Ned) Stark is asked by King Robert to take the job himself because they’re old friends. Ned agrees since he’ll get the chance to investigate Jon Arryn’s death. So he and his family join King’s Landing. Meanwhile, his son Brandon witnesses Queen Cersei and her brother Jaime Lannister involved in an incestuous relationship. Jaime sees him and pushes him out of the window of a tower in order to keep their affair a secret. However, Brandon wakes up paralyzed and not recalling anything he saw. After a while, Ned starts putting together all the secrets that the Lannisters keep including Cersei and Jaime’s affair. After Robert’s death due to a hunting accident where he gets fatally wounded by a boar, Ned tries to convince the council that Robert’s brother Stannis is the true heir instead of Joffrey whom he believes is Jaime’s son. No one believes him and Joffrey has him arrested and later executed in front of his daughters Sansa and Arya. After Ned’s death, Jaime is captured in the North where Robb Stark, Ned’s eldest son, is now considered the King, while Robert’s brothers Renly and Stannis believe they have the right for the Iron Throne themselves. Lastly, Tywin Lannister appoints his son Tyrion as King’s Hand to monitor Cersei and Joffrey.
Across the Narrow Sea, the exiled Daenerys Targaryen is forced by her brother Viserys to marry the Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo in exchange for an army. However, the Dothrakis along with Drogo start to worship Daenerys and defend her against her brother’s abuse while she becomes more confident and willful. Later, Drogo kills Viserys, who was threatening Daenerys, by pouring molten gold on his head. But, Drogo become infected and dies, along with Daenerys’ unborn baby. So she magically brings to the world three small dragons from the funeral pyre.
Meanwhile, at the Wall, Jon Snow- Ned Stark’s bastard son- joins the Night’s Watch which is sworn to protect the Wall from whatever creatures lie beyond, especially the white walkers and the savage wildlings.
Robb Stark sends Theon Greyjoy to win the support of his father Baron, the lord of the Iron Islands. He also sends his mother Catelyn Stark to win Renly Baratheon’s assistance. In fact, Renly has also claimed the throne with the support of House Tyrell. However, Theon betrays the Starks and takes control of Winterfell but the Stark boys Rickon and Brandon are able to escape with the help of a Wildling called Osha. Meanwhile, Catelyn and Brienne of Tarth witness the death of Renly by a dark force sent by the Red Lady Melisandre who’s helping Stannis Baratheon claim the throne. Then Catelyn and Brienne go back to Robb’s camp where Catelyn decides to let Jaime go free, so she has him escorted by Brienne back to King’s Landing. In fact, she plans to make a deal with the Lannisters to exchange him with her daughters Arya and Sansa. Later, Tyrion is forced to lead the defense against Stannis’ attack on King’s Landing as well as the counterattack, while King Joffrey hides. Stannis is defeated when Tywin’s men arrive and take control over the situation.
Meanwhile across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen, along with the remainder of her Khalasar, head to the city of Qarth where they are welcomed by the merchant Xaro Xhoan Daxos. However, the latter collaborates with the warlock Pyat Pree to kill her people, kidnap her dragons and take control over the city. But Daenerys is able to escape the Qarth when her dragons kill Pyat Pree.
Beyond the Wall, Jon Snow captures a Wildling called Ygritte but is later captured himself by her fellow Wildlings. In the meantime, the rest of the Night’s Watch is under attack by the White Walkers.
After his victory against Stannis’ army, Tyrion finds himself underappreciated by his father, Tywin, especially after he appoints him the new Master of Coin. The Lannisters are threatened by the wealthy Tyrell family and discover that they’re planning to marry Loras Tyrell to Sansa Stark. So Tywin makes a new arrangement to prevent that union, forcing Tyrion to marry Sansa and Cersei to marry Loras. Also, Loras’s sister Margaery is now betrothed to King Joffrey. That’s why she and her grandmother, Olenna Tyrell, ask Sansa what to expect from him, so Sansa tells them he’s a monster. After Tyrion and Sansa’s wedding, Tyrion treats Sansa with respect and tells her they don’t need to get intimate with each other before she wants to. Meanwhile, Jaime is still trying to make it to King’s Landing with Brienne but they encounter several obstacles including getting captured by Locke, House Bolton’s best hunter. In fact, Jaime loses his hand after he tries to bribe Locke with his father’s money. Eventually, they both arrive to King’s Landing. The Starks lose the support of Lord Walder Frey after failing to keep their vow to him. In fact, Robb marries Talisa Maegyr instead of marrying one of Walder’s daughters or granddaughters. Meanwhile, Bran, Rickon, Osha and Hodor are carrying on with their own adventure and they now have the help of the Reed siblings who inform Bran that he is a Warg, capable of entering animals’ minds. In the meantime, Theon Greyjoy is imprisoned and heavily tortured resulting in him being brainwashed to the point where he forgets his own identity. Arya becomes entangled with the Brotherhood without Banners until she’s able to escape but then finds herself on a new journey with The Hound. Later, while attending a wedding at Walder Frey’s territory, Robb and Catelyn Stark are ambushed and brutally murdered by Lord Frey’s men and Roose Bolton.
Beyond the Wall, Jon Snow becomes romantically involved with Ygritte therefore breaking his vows. But later, he betrays her and kills one of her fellow Wildling and escapes. However, Ygritte manages to catch up with him and shoots him with several arrows.
Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys heads to the city of Astapor to buy an army of slave soldiers called the “Unsullied”. She manages to free the Unsullied so they choose to follow her. Then she arrives to Yunkai where she also frees the slaves and they start calling her “Mhysa”, meaning “mother” in Ghiscari.
In King’s Landing, everyone is preparing for Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding. Among many guests, Oberyn Martell arrives holding a grudge against the Lannisters and waiting for his revenge. At the wedding, Joffrey is killed by poison and Cersei believes that her brother Tyrion is the one responsible. However, we later discover that it is Olenna Tyrell the one who arranged his death with the help of Petyr Baelish. During Tyrion’s trial, everyone conspires to have him framed including his ex-lover Shae, but Tyrion convinces them to get a trial by combat. Oberyn Tyrell agrees to fight for Tyrion but he loses the battle to the ferocious Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain, who ends up brutally smashing his head. Later, Tyrion finds out that Shae has been sleeping with his father so he kills them both before escaping the city with Varys.
Meanwhile, Sansa has fled King’s Landing with the help of Petyr Baelish who takes her to her aunt’s. After marrying Petyr, her aunt starts suspects that he and Sansa are having an affair behind her back after seeing them kissing. She goes mad with jealousy and attempts to kill Sansa by threatening to push her out of the Moon Door, but she ends up getting pushed over herself by Petyr.
In the meantime, Arya is still on her own journey with The Hound but things go south when Brienne sees them and mortally wounds The Hound while Arya escapes. Elsewhere, Bran, accompanied by the Reed siblings and Hodor, is still on a mission to find the three-eyed raven north of the wall. However, they’re attacked by wights then saved by a child of the forest who leads them to the three-eyed raven.
At the wall, Jon Snow warns the Night’s Watch that Mance Rayder is planning an attack on them from both sides. When the fight begins, Jon and the rest of the Night’s Watch, including Sam, struggle to protect the wall especially that the Wildlings are accompanied by scary Giants. Ygritte dies in the arm of Jon who later heads to Mance Rayder and starts negotiating with him. However, they get interrupted by Stannis Baratheon who takes Mance prisoner.
Across the Narrow Sea, after freeing the city of Meereen, Daenerys decides to stay there and learn how to be a great leader before going to Westeros. She also discovers that Ser Jorah was spying on her and orders him to leave Meereen. Later, she notices that her dragons are starting to get out of her control and decides to chain two of her dragons while the other one is still at large.
Be sure to catch Season 5 airing on Foxtel on April 13.
Our Critic Review
Game of Thrones is a magnificent work of art. Every aspect of the show is mind-blowing and beautiful; the special effects are superb, the writing is sharp and the acting is top-notch. It is also very addictive due to its brilliant cliffhangers and great characters.
The show is brilliant in establishing multi-layered and morally ambiguous characters. In fact, it demonstrates how a person can be a villain and at the same time very relatable and almost even likable. Also, it shows how power can make people betray each other and commit horrible acts towards each other.
Game of Thrones is very popular because everyone who watches it finds something they love. That’s why, if you haven’t caught up with the show yet, it is highly recommended that you do before the next season begins on Foxtel on April 13.
Critic Reviews for Season 2
This dwarf [Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) has game – and so does this fabulous dark fable. Dig in. Full ReviewMatt Roush, TV Guide
Stick with it. Free your eyes to take in the spectacle, and your brain will magically start following the intricate storytelling. Full ReviewKen Tucker, Entertainment Weekly
he art direction, acting and incredible sets are as breathtaking as the massive scope of the series. A bit slow at first, but it’s a grabber once you get into it. Full ReviewLinda Stasi, New-York Post