With Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Iain Glen, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Richard Madden, Charles Dance

Directed by Daniel Minahan, David Benioff, Alex Graves, Alik Sakharov, Michelle MacLaren, David Nutter

In the past quality films dealing with medieval / fantasy themes like Excalibur were few and far between, but since Lord Of The Rings, these have become more commonplace. HBO's ambitiously successful tackling of George R.R. Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire book series is going from strength to strength as fans cannot wait for each new series to unfold more of the intrigue in the never ending brutal power struggle in the land of Westeros. The major players in the Stark, Lannister and Targaryen houses draw ever closer to chaos.
The annoying Sansa remains a weakling, while her more assertive younger sister is still on the run disguised as a boy (remaining defiant and honing her skill for battle). Their young brother (crippled by a fall caused by Jaime Lannister on seeing him and his sister in an incestuous situation) also eludes capture with his guardians as everything seems to fall apart. Jaime was captured but to try and prevent her children coming to harm by the Lannisters, Carelyn Stark has him freed and sent on a long backroads journey home by her amazon knight confidant (to the discontent of her son Robb, one of the crown contenders).
Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf son of the new King's Hand (Joffrey's grandfather Tywin) is seen as a disgraceful reminder by his father, and even with his whoring, drinking ways display more compassionate character traits and conscience than most, and seem set to rise to bigger things (even though his own family, including sister and nephew plot against him).
Jon Snow's expedition with his fellow rangers into the frozen land has him encounter the Wildlings (and a woman he can't resist).
The Mother Of Dragons has survived a lot in the desert (including cunning sorcerers) and with her dragons growing larger, starts using them as leverage to reach her goals, including the recruitment of a huge army totally committed to her.
By this time the viewer has realized that nothing is sacred and any one of the vast cast can lose their heads, even their favourites, be they possessors of more virtue or cunning (which brings me to an episode that will outrage and shock many fans of the series).
While there are too many plot lines and incidents to mention across the first 3 seasons' several dozen episodes (from titillating and heroic, to cowardly and shocking), all I can say is that this is a series well worth investing in, if you can stomach more extreme content of a sexual and violent nature, that is.

Extras: A recap of the 2nd season to give you some perspective on the convoluted plotlines to enter the 3rd season without confusion / A look at the Wildlings / An introduction to the new characters / Explanation on how marriage works in this world / 12 audio commentaries for more insight from the perspective of cast and production crew.

5 / B
- Paul Blom

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
- A
- B - C

Click cover images below for all the Game Of Thrones series

never let a review decide for you, but for those who need a rating, see the Flamedrop scale below
6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multi-Viewing Potential

B: Could Enjoy A 2nd Look

C: Once Should Suffice

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