The final scene in the Game of Thrones season 1 finale was unforgettable. Seeing Daenerys Targaryen emerge with her newly hatched dragons in hand was just the coolest thing that could have happened and now we can relive that moment for years to come thanks to this awesome Daenerys Targaryen bust from Dark Horse and HBO. Read More...


The following review is from our friends at Westeros.org.  Last week they gave us their review of episode 2, The Kingsroad, and stay tuned for our podcast review and discussion of episode 3 later on!



Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Directed by Brian Kirk

IMDB Synopsis (by HBO Publicity)

Arriving at King's Landing after his long journey, Ned (Sean Bean) is shocked to learn of the Crown's profligacy from his new advisors. At Castle Black, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) impresses Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) at the expense of greener recruits. Suspicious that the Lannisters had a hand in Bran's fall, Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) covertly follows her husband to King's Landing, where she is intercepted by Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen), aka "Littlefinger," a shrewd longtime ally and brothel owner. Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) ponder the implications of Bran's (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) recovery; Arya (Maisie Williams) studies swordsmanship. On the road to Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finds herself at odds with Viserys (Harry Lloyd).

Analysis

Rewatching this episode this week led me to realize something: it's probably the weakest of the six episodes Linda and I have seen. Between King’s Landing and the Wall, we have a dozen new characters introduced (Old Nan—the late, great Margaret John—and Rakharo make an even fourteen). While they file onto the stage, the momentum of the plot largely grinds to a halt. Despite there being fewer chapters being covered than either of the previous episodes (my count places it at about 6 and a quarter chapters), the sense that there's a rush to move from scene to scene seems clearest of all. Some scenes feel too brief, leaving you with a sense of wanting something more. This is not to say it's a bad episode—I don’t believe there's a bad one in the bunch—but it seems like it may be the episode that could be the least satisfying to those who haven’t read the books, who won't get a thrill from seeing Varys, Ser Barristan the Bold, Littlefinger, the Old Bear, and more for the first time. It's a lot to digest.

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We're back for our second podcast review with our friends at Westeros.org!  This week, we take a look at "The Kingsroad" with a general consensus that the second episode of George R.R. Martin's masterpiece adaptation improved a bit over the first.  So once again, Westeros' Elio and Linda join MTV Geek's Tom and Daniel to break it down!

Click to listen: Game of Thrones 'The Kingsroad' Podcast

Podcast highlights:

"I love how they did [Bran's] awakening at the end, it's so eerie." - Elio

""The introduction to [Jon Snow's] circle of friends I'm looking forward to...and the officers of the Wall." - Daniel

"My favorite moment by far has to be Ned and Jon's farewell just because of the way they slip in the 'I promise' line and the echoes of that and Sean Bean is tearing up." - Linda.

And check out the new HBO "Critics' Reviews" trailer!


The following review is from our friends at Westeros.org.  Last week they gave us their review of episode 1, Winter is Coming, and stay tuned for our podcast review and discussion of episode 2 later on!


Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by Tim van Patten

IMDB Synopsis (by HBO Publicity)

Having agreed to become the King’s Hand, Ned leaves Winterfell with daughters Sansa and Arya, while Catelyn stays behind in Winterfell. Jon Snow heads north to join the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch. Tyrion decides to forego the trip south with his family, instead joining Jon in the entourage heading to the Wall. Viserys bides his time in hopes of winning back the throne, while Daenerys focuses her attention on learning how to please her new husband, Drogo.

Analysis

This is a melancholy episode, with fully a third of it devoted to unhappiness, and right at the very beginning. First, the unhappiness and suffering of Daenerys, followed by some fifteen minutes of the poignant farwells of the Starks. Beautifully acted, this episode is the first to really give Kit Harington as Jon and Maisie Williams as Arya some meaty scenes, and they do wonderfully. Kit plays the awkwardness of farewell very, very well, while Maisie is endearing (Nymeria’s also rather cute!) Perhaps the most notable thing in these scenes, however, is a change to one of the scenes from the novel.

The choice to not have Catelyn to call Jon by name—something she’s never done before, in the novels (and something she never does in these two episodes)—and tell him that it should have been him is an interesting one, and feels part-and-parcel with the changes to her character and actions we noted in our previous episode analysis. According to the producers, the loss of the line was because it felt too blunt in the scene, and that the actors had already conveyed so much of the tension through their acting. It sounded to me, when speaking to them, that they actually had written the scene with the line in, but it was decided to remove it in the course of filming. In any case, these words are ones that lead many readers to positivelydespise Catelyn. This is, and alway will be, an incredibly harsh judgment given the circumstances.

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Welcome to our first podcast review of HBO's Game of Thrones done in partnership with Westeros.org!  Westeros' Elio and Linda join MTV Geek's Tom and Daniel to break down what they liked, loved, or hoped to see done better in the premier episode!

Click to listen or download: Game of Thrones 'Winter Is Coming' Podcast

Podcast highlights:

"We loved Harry Lloyd as Viserys.  We thought he did a wonderful job...next to Maisie Williams who plays Arya Stark, Harry Lloyd was the actor who most captured and was most translated one to one from the text." - Elio

"In the books they really go through great lengths to say nobody wears black except the Night's Watch because it's like the badge - you earn it and it marks you.  But in this [show] everyone is wearing black or dark, dark grey.  Whereas the book goes out of its way to say 'oh, they're tunic is this color or has this on the front.'" - Daniel

"I would have to say that other than seeing the wolves for the first time..which is an amazing moment, I really like the introductions of the Targaryens because Viserys has got that nervous, mad energy about him and I think that was really fitting...and he just stole that scene." - Linda

"I really like Ned, I like Cat...I felt like [Ned] was really well done and the changes, making him a little more genial, I think are absolutely necessary in order for him to carry a show for a whole season." - Tom

Listen here!


The following review is from our friends at Westeros.org.  Last week they gave us their early impressions of the first 6 episodes and stay tuned for our podcast review and discussion of episode 1 later today!


Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by Tim van Patten

IMDB Synopsis (by HBO Publicity)

A Night's Watch deserter is tracked down outside of Winterfell, prompting swift justice by Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark and raising concerns about the dangers in the lawless lands north of the Wall. Returning home, Ned learns from his wife Catelyn that his mentor, Jon Arryn, has died in the Westeros capital of King's Landing, and that King Robert is on his way north to offer Ned Arryn's position as the King's Hand. Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea in Pentos, Viserys Targaryen hatches a plan to win back the throne, which entails forging an allegiance with the nomadic Dothraki warriors by giving its leader, Khal Drogo, his lovely sister Daenerys' hand in marriage. Robert arrives at Winterfell with his wife, Queen Cersei, and other members of the Lannister family: her twin brother Jaime, dwarf brother Tyrion and Cersei's son and heir to the throne, 12-year-old Joffrey. Unable to refuse his old friend and king, Ned prepares to leave for King's Landing, as Jon Snow decides to travel north to Castle Black to join the Night's Watch, accompanied by a curious Tyrion. But a startling act of treachery directed at young Bran may postpone their departures.

Analysis

From the moment we saw the Wall in all its majesty, Linda and I knew that we were going to love the grandeur of the show’s depiction of the locales of Westeros, even if not all the visuals necessarily fit our conceptions of how they looked. The production has stinted nothing in trying to capture the scope of the setting. Later on, we’ll discover that “stinting nothing” does not mean "breaking the budget", but it’s a testament to the production’s passionate embrace of the novels that they’ve done their best to keep their fidelity high.

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HBO has released a new Game of Thrones trailer.  This one, entitled "Power", features some new footage of Peter Baelish and more of Viserys and Dany that we haven't yet seen.  The most compelling piece for fans of the books may be the line "You're not supposed to be here."

What we consider even better news is the Game of Thrones mobile food truck which will serve the gourmet dishes of Westeros to some lucky fans over the next two weeks in New York and Los Angeles.  If you happen to be in NY the week of the 28th or LA the week of April 4th, make sure you keep up with the official Facebook page and Twitter to find out where and when the truck will appear each day.  Only the first 300 fans who get there will sup on delights pulled right from the pages of the novels so keep your eyes peeled!

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Earlier this week IGN exclusively revealed 4 new posters for HBO's upcoming adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones.  Just the other day we showed you the first official poster featuring the tag line "You Win Or You Die" which is a line from the novel but not one usually associated to the series.  We understand the line, and it speaks to a broader audience who is likely not familiar with the books, but it's nice to finally see "Winter Is Coming" used in HBO's marketing efforts.

The posters feature Ned, with the familiar Stark adage, Dany, with the line "I do not have a gentle heart," Cersei, with the line she shares with her brother "Everyone but us is the enemy," and Robert with the more humorous "Killing things clears my head."

Ned's poster is the strongest, and Robert's is a bit perplexing as it's slightly out of character (yes, we know he has a temper and can be violent, but it's really not the core of his character - feel free to debate away) and the image of him is deadly serious.  Without the book here to confirm, the line is from a discussion with Ned prior to going hunting, and wasn't written to show the sometimes murderous side of the King of Westeros.

Cersei's line tells you all you need to know about her, and this side of her is shown very early on so it's not much of a spoiler.  Dany's line, though we're sure it comes from the books, is not one that jumps to memory and also seems slightly out of character, at least until later events that we won't spoil here.

Yesterday we showed you the latest featurettes from HBO on Houses Stark and Baratheon and today we're going to look at Houses Lannister and Targaryen!

The Lannister feature gives us a broad overview of Cersei, Jamie, Joff, and Tyrion. Again, there's not too much here we haven't seen before but every time Peter Dinklage speaks we get goosebumps. The more and more footage of him that's released gives us every bit of confidence that fans of the books are going to love the adaptation and anyone unfamiliar with the books will get a performance from Peter that drives them to pick up the novels.

In the Targaryen feature we mostly hear from Dany and her brother, Viserys. There are glimpses of Jason Momoa as Kahl Drogo and we get to hear a few new (or familiar if you've read books) lines from Iain Geln as Jorah Mormont.

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