Tag Archives: Peter Dinklage

Final Thoughts: Game of Thrones Season Two

After the resounding success of season one, Weiss and Benioff had to have felt some serious trepidation heading into season two.  While the source material is undeniably stronger, it also turns the challenges of adapting the first book up to eleven.  The sprawling cast sprawls farther, the geography gets bigger, and the fantasy elements grow even more fantastic; all without Ned Stark’s presence to tie things together.  To be fair, nearly all of the second season’s problems can be traced back to the increased scope, but these pale in comparison to its successes.  The ambition of this season yielded one astonishing piece of television, one that can stand alongside the best of HBO in redefining what the medium is capable of. Continue reading

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Dragons Happened

Where are we supposed to be looking?

Can Tywin and Arya get their own spinoff?  Not really… but really?  I guess that by this point I shouldn’t be surprised by how much juice this series is able squeeze out of the various character dynamics.  Most shows are lucky to get one or two pairings that really work, but Game of Thrones seems to strike gold every time it shuffles the deck.  Beyond the awesome of Tywin and Arya, “A Man Without Honor” has Cersei and Tyrion prove they can be just as fun commiserating as they can sniping, and Jon Snow finally finds someone to make him interesting. Continue reading

Final Thoughts: Game of Thrones Season One

To call Game of Thrones an astonishing success is a bit of an understatement.  HBO may pride itself on making bold programming decisions, but even it must have hesitated before putting its gritty hands on a genre that had previously been limited to Hercules and Xena.  Thankfully, Benioff and Weiss have proven capable shepherds of Martin’s source material and delivered a series that stands amongst the best of serialized drama. Continue reading

There is only one thing we say to death

Awesome.  Absolutely awesome.  Game of Thrones is, undeniably, the most ambitious genre-project television has ever given us and while I’ve enjoyed the series thus far, it hasn’t really lived up to that promise until now.  “A Golden Crown” brings this series into the same league as Dexter, The Wire, etc.  The show is still far too young to be equal to such giants, but it’s now officially bringing something new to the realm of serialized drama.  That something is explicitly leveraging the tropes of another medium in order to build plot and character.  Of course this isn’t the first television series to make use of the audience’s understanding of literature, but it’s the first one to make it a core concept.  Entertaining as this episode was in its own right, it’s brought to a whole other level by a familiarity with epic fantasy. Continue reading

Fear is for the Winter

It’s at this point that I must admit that having read the books may be a serious obstacle to effectively reviewing Game of Thrones.  There was really no part of “Lord Snow” that didn’t work and the acting, writing, and production values of this show continue to equal or surpass anything else on television.  And yet, much as I enjoyed all of this, I was never really wowed and I think it’s because I was never surprised.  I’m delighted with how true this series is staying to the novels, but I have a strong suspicion that I’m under-appreciating what a unique achievement it is in the medium.  Continue reading

Life is full of possibilities

Reviewing this series after having read the books is an interesting exercise in that I’m having trouble separating the episodes from the larger whole.  This is a challenge with any heavily serialized series, particularly when you know the outcome, but Game of Thrones has the added complication of being based on a novel.  What we’ve seen so far is fairly true to the books, but the fact is that my understanding of the context of each scene is imperfect.  I’m evaluating what see  I based on what I “know” is going to happen next.  This can be problematic when small changes are made from text to screen.  Continue reading

The things I do for love

“Winter is Coming” serves as a thorough reminder that nobody does it quite like HBO.  It’s not just the jaw-dropping production values that set their shows apart from anything else on TV (although those don’t hurt), it’s the jaw dropping amount of credit HBO gives its audience.  A Song of Ice and Fire is labyrinthine in its written form, with dozens of characters, myriad alliances, and a complex mythology.  Compressing that into the television format is no easy task, but the Game of Thrones premiere charts the only course available; it hits the ground running and never waits for the audience to catch up. Continue reading