Dead Season Discussion: Trials of Ice and Fire (and Mountains) in Game of Thrones Season 4 (Part 1)

Title CardWith the passing of Breaking Bad and Mad Men and Homeland’s nosedive, HBO’s Game of Thrones is as close as America has to consensus television. Adapted from George R.R. Martin’s popular A Song of Fire and Ice book series by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones has racked up Emmy’s and Golden Globes, as well as awards that matter, such as the Peabody and Hugo Awards.

To commemorate the end of Season 4, Jeff (of Slazenger1) and I break down the good, the better, and the occasionally bad of Game of Thrones’ fourth season, which premiered on April 6, 2014 and ended on June 15, 2014.

As per the usual, SPOILERS ABOUND. Also, people die. If that’s a spoiler to you, you have no business clicking on a Game of Thrones link. There are, however, NO BOOK SPOILERS beyond what Season 4 of the show covers.

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Patches: Jeff, it’s an honor and a pleasure to be here with you once again for another Dead Season Discussion!

Jeff: Indeed! After bombarding everyone with 24 for a year, we’ve let our duties slide a little bit (well, there was that little comedy show). Now we’re back in full “better-late-than-never” mode!

Patches: Hahaha. Doesn’t that imply that we usually operate in some other mode most of the time?

Jeff: How about “always late, but never better”? Hmmmmm, maybe that implies that we never improve. Maybe we should just take it from Gandalf.

Patches: I’m down with that. I’ve used “A teacher can’t be tardy” once or twice in my day. All I know is that I’m really glad that we don’t have some sort of a shtick for our reviews. You know, the “Best and Worst” of something or “the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” of something else. I’ve seen some websites do those things incredibly well, but we would be so screwed for our Game of Thrones write-ups. “The Good, the Also Good, and the, Like, One Thing That’s Not Good” of Game of Thrones Season 4!

Long story short, we love this show. What jumped out at you this season? Why was Season 4 so damn good?

Jeff: You know what Patches? You might as well just go back and read our Season 3 discussion. Combine skilled adaptation, assured direction, a mostly-pretty-great cast and the best book in the series and you get Game of Thrones Season 4 (and 3). I’ll try to speak in generalities for a little while here and then throw it back to you before we get into specific stories or moments.

The character moments and pairings remain great, but different characters come to the fore than in seasons past. Tywin and Jaime take a bit of a back seat after a stellar Season 3, but the both still have some great scenes with Tyrion that reveal new depths of their enmity and love, respectively. Oberyn Martell was a wonderful addition whose every scene was better than the one previous. Brienne and Pod offer a nice odd couple pairing. Davos gets some brief chances to shine. Even some of the boring ol’ crew at the wall–and trusty Sam–get their moments of glory.

Best of all, the Stark girls both hit new highs, in my opinion. After episode 7, I noted that Continue reading

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Dead Season Discussion: Knocking Over the Board in Game of Thrones Season 3 (Part 4)

Title CardWelcome to the second installment of Dead Season Discussion, where Jeff of Slazenger1 and I discuss Season 3 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Not only is Game of Thrones more popular than our first effort, ABC’s Last Resort, but it’s also a better program, meaning we probably won’t spend 2,000+ words discussing what we didn’t like about the show.

If the title didn’t make SEASON 3 SPOILERS obvious, then you need to start paying attention while you read. Oh, and also, book 3 spoiler alert. There are, however, NO spoilers from later in the book series, beyond what season 3 of the TV show covers.

For the final part of our Game of Thrones Season 3 analysis, we go back to the well for some more superlatives. If you haven’t read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 yet, here are the links. This time, though, there’s no theme. They’re all Reviewer’s Choice! Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Best Main Theme (Patches)
Ramin Djawadi: I have been a big fan of Ramin Djawadi’s work ever since his incredible soundtrack for EA’s 2010 Medal of Honor reboot. Although the Game of Thrones soundtracks aren’t at that level, the show’s main theme is the best theme song on television. It’s so good that I can’t watch an episode without watching the opening.

Most Blatant Ripoff of The CW’s Beauty and the Beast (Jeff)
Tyrion Lannister: The books make Tyrion sound ugly to begin with, something that couldn’t really be helped once Peter Dinklage was cast in the role. After Tyrion gets his face slashed during the Battle of Blackwater, the books frequently discuss his apparent lack of nose and general disfigurement. Rather than cause viewers to puke up lamprey pie every time they saw Tyrion, the TV team decided to go the CW route of “guy with a sexy scar.”  Probably a good move. Continue reading

Dead Season Discussion: Knocking Over the Board in Game of Thrones Season 3 (Part 3)

Title CardWelcome to the second installment of Dead Season Discussion, where Jeff of Slazenger1 and I discuss Season 3 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Not only is Game of Thrones more popular than our first effort, ABC’s Last Resort, but it’s also a better program, meaning we probably won’t spend 2,000+ words discussing what we didn’t like about the show.

If the title didn’t make SEASON 3 SPOILERS obvious, then you need to start paying attention while you read. Oh, and also, book 3 spoiler alert. There are, however, NO spoilers from later in the book series, beyond what season 3 of the TV show covers.

For the last two days, we’ve discussed Game of Thrones’ third season. Today, we get a little deeper with our look at the best/worst performances, episodes, and scenes of the season.

Patches: Let’s move to our trademark superlatives, which aren’t really trademarked as much as we are the only people to call them “superlatives.”

BEST PERFORMANCE. Who ya got?

Jeff: I’m going to go with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister. Guy will probably never get an Emmy for this, but deserves one for the Hot Tub scene alone.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister

Patches: Coster-Waldau’s versatility and growth makes him my choice too. I’ll still give a shout-out to Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister. He absolutely OWNED this season, mostly while seated. I would watch an entire episode of him writing letters, then ripping apart anyone who interrupts him. Continue reading

Dead Season Discussion: Knocking Over the Board in Game of Thrones Season 3 (Part 2)

Title CardWelcome to the second installment of Dead Season Discussion, where Jeff of Slazenger1 and I discuss Season 3 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Not only is Game of Thrones more popular than our first effort, ABC’s Last Resort, but it’s also a better program, meaning we probably won’t spend 2,000+ words discussing what we didn’t like about the show.

If the title didn’t make SEASON 3 SPOILERS obvious, then you need to start paying attention while you read. Oh, and also, book 3 spoiler alert. There are, however, NO spoilers from later in the book series, beyond what season 3 of the TV show covers.

Yesterday, we looked at the season as a whole. Today, our Skype-based discussion and analysis covers the big moments of Season 3.

Patches: I spoke earlier of the book having many “big moments.” Maybe this is the time to take a closer look at those. With what should we begin?

Jeff: I think it might be best to go chronologically through the season. I’m not sure how much time we want to spend on each moment and I’m also not sure what really defines “big” moment, but the season had a few that are worth talking about. Unless you can think of something earlier, perhaps the first big shocker was Jaime Lannister losing his sword hand at the end of episode 3, “Walk of Punishment.” Continue reading

Dead Season Discussion: Knocking Over the Board in Game of Thrones Season 3 (Part 1)

Title CardWelcome to the second installment of Dead Season Discussion, where Jeff of Slazenger1 and I discuss Season 3 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Not only is Game of Thrones more popular than our first effort, ABC’s Last Resort, but it’s also a better program, meaning we probably won’t spend 2,000+ words discussing what we didn’t like about the show.

If the title didn’t make SEASON 3 SPOILERS obvious, then you need to start paying attention while you read. Oh, and also, book 3 spoiler alert. There are, however, NO spoilers from later in the book series, beyond what season 3 of the TV show covers.

With that, our Skype-based discussion and analysis of Season 3 as a whole begins…

Patches: Hey, dude. I’m here!

Jeff: Can we postpone for like 15 minutes, my dog is whining to go outside?

Patches: Haha. We can.

Jeff: Thanks for waiting, I’m back.

Patches: Are you ready to go now that the dog is walked, assuming that wasn’t a euphemism for something else?

Jeff: Yeah, I’m sorry it took so long, but I had to wait for him to poop. Then I had to pee. I’m ready now, I think.

Patches: I’m a teacher and it’s summer. Anything I need to do right now, I can do later tonight. Or tomorrow. Or next week… You get the idea.

Jeff: Alright, let’s start off with a general discussion of our feelings for season 3 as a whole. Do you have any general thoughts about these 10 episodes as a season of television? Continue reading