I review a whole season rather than individual episodes, so there is a chance of spoilers. If you haven’t watched the whole season yet, stop reading now!
It would almost be easier to review Game of Thrones by character rather than episode or season. There are so many characters and so many overlapping stories, each of varying quality, that often the show feels like it is dragging and then manages to pull itself out of the mire.
This was a problem beginning to show itself during season 2, which I felt was a dip in quality in the show, but it becomes more of an issue in this season because they have expanded the show, the characters and the stories even further.
It results in a mix because the aspects of the show that I enjoy were done fantastically while other moments felt like they were being played through until we could get back to the characters I actually cared about. I’m sure there were people who liked John Snow’s trek through the North but I felt completely put off and drained by it. When you have a great political game being played at King’s Landing, you don’t care about a guy called Snow walking through Snow.
That also goes for the new characters they introduced this season. There was nobody new that ever compared to the already established cast of the show. I’m not sure whether that is because of the time we’ve already invested into those characters or because they were just attached to storylines that didn’t exactly impress.
For example, the new characters that have intertwined themselves with Bran Stark felt like they offered very little that was new. Aside from talking in riddles and doing some slightly cool stuff with animals, this storyline was one I cared very little about. That goes for the added wildlings too, unfortunatley cursed with a dull storyline.
The best new character was, by far, Lady Olenna. Played brilliantly by Diana Rigg, Lady Olenna is the scheming, calculated and very cool individual that this show creates so brilliantly. In fact, the issue that Game of Thrones has created for itself is that all the coolest characters are at King’s Landing.
It helps that those characters are brilliant though. The series could just be about the Lannister’s at King’s Landing and it would still be one of the best shows on telly. You’re adding the incredible Lady Olenna to the already established and comfortable Tyrion Lannister, Cersai Lannister and of course, Charles Dance’s amazing Tywin Lannister. This family is one of the best on tv and every scene they have together is the highlight of any episode. I felt myself waiting for other scenes to end so we could get back to the Lannisters.
The surprise stand-out wasn’t one of the most established of the series though. Jack Gleeson, as the “awful but you love to hate him” Joffrey Baratheon, almost stole this whole season. The way he flips on any sentence, has no regard for any other character, including his bad-ass Grandfather and does some shocking things with crossbows, has meant he is the most watchable and most interesting character of the whole season.
That’s high praise in a season that really stepped up in terms of story and events. The battle that formed the middle of the season and of course “that wedding” has meant this has been an unmissable and engrossing season, much more than the second and beating the first too. The best way to judge a tv show is whether you have to see the next episode the moment the last episode has finished and that was almost always the case with Game of Thrones third season.
I know more new character will be introduced, mainly to replace those that have already been killed off, but as long as we get storylines like Jaime Lannister and Brienne and of course the always amazing Daenerys and her dragons, I will gladly endure any tedious storylines.
Overall, Game of Thrones stepped it up with season three. The characters are getting better, the storylines are even more interesting and engrossing and although there is becoming a huge problem with too many characters, the show is never less than essential watching. It can only get better and with so much to resolve and build upon, I can’t wait for season four.
Best Episode – The Bear and Maiden Fair; Controversial but this was actually my favourite moment of the whole show. I love Brienne and she fought a bear!!!
Best performance – Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon
Should there be another season? – Of course! This show can’t end! There is so much to see and resolve!
Season Rating – 4.5
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)