Thursday, May 31, 2012

Game of Thrones ends second season Sunday

Like it or hate it, you can never call ‘Game of Thrones’ boring.

The HBO ratings juggernaut sees its second season come to an end this Sunday – and fans can’t help but lament the fact that 10 episodes have flown by so quickly.

I know it hardly seems real to me either – and I’ve been keeping track.

I actually came to the ‘Game of Thrones’ party late.

I kept hearing how great it was – but for some reason I could never get through the first episode – no matter how hard I tried. Finally, I forced myself to sit and watch it in its entirety. I didn’t love the series yet, but I was intrigued.

By the time I was done with my viewing of the second episode, though, I was in love with the show.

‘Game of Thrones’ isn’t your ordinary television fare.

It’s got grand storylines, sweeping sets and engaging characters – whether they’re good, evil or both. You can’t say that about most television programs.

What’s interesting about the ‘Game of Thrones’ world is that very few characters are purely evil or completely good. The lone exception to this is Joffrey. That little punk is pure evil and I can’t wait until he dies.

The rest of the characters, though, live in a gray area – just like the real world. Sure, ‘Game of Thrones’ is a magical show with dragons, and magic and smoke assassins – but its drama is rooted in reality.

By the end of the first season, you realize pretty quickly that none of these characters are safe.

Sean Bean (‘Lord of the Rings’) was the biggest name associated with the show and his Ned Stark was beheaded before the end of the first season. Essentially, the Westeros world isn’t safe for any of our heroes.

While I’m intrigued by many characters, right now Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Arya (Maisie Williams) are my current favorites. Tyrion’s appeal is obvious. He’s brave, smart and funny in every scene. Dinklage commands attention no matter what he does – and he was born to play Tyrion.

Williams, however, is different. Of all the children, Arya is the one who has to carry the most story. Bran and Sansa are also important, but, so far at least, they haven’t been the focal point like Arya has. At 15, Williams manages to not only steal every scene she’s in, but she holds her own with experienced and lauded adult counterparts.

I think I’m so attached to Arya because she reminds me of me when I was her age – only I didn’t see my father beheaded. The worlds aren’t the same, but Arya sees herself as equal to the men she shares space with – and thusly earns their respect.

The other character I’m enjoying is Cersei (Lena Headey). Sure, the woman is generally evil, but her deeds often spring out of love for her children. I also like that she admits that her eldest son Joffrey is a bereft beast.

Last year, Daenerys and Jon Snow were my favorite characters. I don’t dislike them now, but I’m just more interested in Tyrion and Arya. That’s the wonder of Westeros, really. There’s always a new discovery around the corner.

Last week’s penultimate episode consisted of the battle for King’s Landing from start to finish. The battle was on scale with ‘Lord of the Rings’ and the final ‘Harry Potter.’

Despite the horrors of the episode and dark scenes of Cersei readying to kill her youngest child rather than let him be taken by an enemy – there was also humor and triumph. Both of those were primarily due to Tyrion and his scene-stealing prowess.

I expect this week’s finale will hold a few surprises – because ‘Game of Thrones’ is a show full of surprises.
Unlike other shows, though, I’ve decided to stay spoiler-free with ‘Game of Thrones.’ Why? Because the magic is in the discovery – and knowing what will happen diminishes the magic with this show.

It’s going to be a long wait for season three.

What do you think? Are you going to miss ‘Game of Thrones’ when it goes on hiatus this summer?


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