GAME OF THRONES – Season Three (2013)

Game of Thrones: Season 3 introduces some much-needed heroism and sequences that would make you go limp. What I mean by that are moments like the one in Gladiator when Maximus’ identity is revealed to the king and the masses, like that scene in Braveheart where William Wallace talk peasants into fighting the English with his roaring speech or for that matter the scene in Lord Of The Rings: Return of the King when in the end, Aragorn runs towards a horde of Orcs with nothing but his sword saying the words “for Frodo”. A series like Game of Thrones needed some of that charisma and we finally get it in this season.

The Khaleesi starts her campaign by liberating 8000 slaves from a slave city in tremendous fashion. The scene where we see the men in neatly formed columns marching out of the city after she frees them and offers them a choice to either leave or follow her will surely induce goosebumps. At least that was the case for me and I am a sucker for this kind of moments. Again a lot of credit has to be given to the technical team for envisioning the sequences in a way that gives the maximum impact. The masterstroke was to show the dragons flying overhead as the men marched out lead by Khaleesi.

Jon Snow ends up in the company of the Wildlings and their leader, the one they call The King beyond the Walls. Ygritte is in love with him and he too loves her dearly but he cannot agree with the ways of the Wildlings. What he learns in their company does broaden his horizons and he starts understanding the real threats but that doesn’t make him go against his brothers of the night watch which the Wildlings want of him. This creates some interesting drama between him and Ygritte.

Bran is getting to understand his powers that come with him being the three- eyed raven. In the company of his new found friends, he is trying to make his way beyond the Wall. He meets Sam, who is trying to save one of Craster’s daughters/wives and her infant. Sam has had a tryst with a White Walker and has successfully ended him using a dagger forged in Dragon fire. He tries to talk him out of his misadventure but to no avail.

Robb Stark is abandoned by half his men when he executes one of his prominent Banner-men for his war crimes. Desperate to regroup and make up for the lost men, he walks into an awkward reconciliation with Walder Frey, the man who he promised to marry a daughter off and the one who he wronged by not keeping his promise. Theon Greyjoy ends up in the hands of Ramsay, the bastard of Lord Bolton, who was sent to put an end to the siege of Winterfell. Ramsay spends a lot of time brutalizing Theon for his pleasure alone.

Tywin Lannister forces his children Tyrion and Cersei to marry Sansa and Sir Loras respectively. While both despise the move, they have very little that they can do to stop him. Jamie Lannister, in the company of Lady Brienne, is inching towards King’s Landing. What he endures on the way has an unexpected effect on his conscience and changes him as a person. Arya Stark who is moving from hand to hand trying to reach his family ends up in the company of “The Hound”. While the Hound is one of the names on her kill list, she shares an interesting camaraderie with him as they both get to know each other.

This season establishes itself on three major factors. The plot involving Jon Snow and his treacherous climb with the Wildlings through the Northern wall, the Khaleesi coming to her own and how she liberates army after army of slaves and the segment involving Arya stark making her way through the jungle to reach her brother Robb and mother Catelyn only to find them be-struck by tragedy. The climb that Snow and Ygritte takes would make you stand up and take notice. Not only does it give you heart attacks through the chilling thrills that it has to offer, it also blows you away through it sheer visual style and scale. The dragons are growing bigger and bigger now and they have quite an impact on every meeting that they are a part off. You will understand what I mean when you watch the series. Suffice is to say that they are coming into their own.

One of the biggest USPs of this season was the surprises that it holds. While I was taken aback at least twice throughout the series by the actions of the people involved, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by it. The heroics of the Khaleesi, as mentioned before were one of the other factors that contributed to this season rising to the level that it does.  There is another very subtly done subplot at play here involving Petyr Baelish and his plot to get Sansa Stark out of the King’s Landing. He makes his move on her and going by his nature we don’t know whether it’s for the good or worse.

Tyrion Lannister is crushed by his father’s decision and is torn between his love for Shae, the whore and his inability to tell his father no. His drunken act on his wedding night wherein he threatens Joffrey after he repeatedly pokes fun at him is amusing to watch. Cersei is in no mood to surrender to Loras as has her own beef to take with her sister and his son’s to be wed wife. All these factors club together to make this season overwhelming to a great extent. I had to watch it twice before I could frame my thoughts and I believe I haven’t been able to put it all together here. This is the season which relies as much on content as on the style and the heroism associated with the characters.

Speaking of the performances, the rest of the cast keep up their good work. Ed Skrein plays Daario Naharis, a lieutenant who falls for the charms of the Khaleesi and brings forth the fall of a city. He is one of the most noticeably bad characters in the series. Not only does his act feel fake, something feels very odd about his face. It might have been the reason why the team replaced him in the fourth season. Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey continue to rule the roost with their charming acts while Maisie Williams and Rory McCann intrigue us with their actions. That’s one story I am interested to see how it develops.

Rating : 3.5/5 (3.5 out of 5 Stars)  


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