Author Topic: Game of Thrones Season 1 and 2 ******  (Read 959 times)

Offline gitano1

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Game of Thrones Season 1 and 2 ******
« on: April 03, 2013, 10:15:30 AM »
George R. R. Martin, if he lives long enough to complete his magnum opus, The Song of Fire and Ice, will very likely go down as one of the masters of modern literature along side J.R.R. Tolkien. He has published five volumes in the series so far, and two more are planned, one to be released in 2014, the last in 2020. He is not a young man, and I for one would wish that he would write a hell of a lot faster.
HBO has brought two of the books to the small screen in the first and second seasons of Game of Thrones. The third season began on Sunday night. The first two seasons are available on DVD. These are fabulous productions that are far better than anything done in the cinema. They are blest with fabulous casts of highly talented actors, incredible special effects, wonderful cinematography, and superb direction. They have taken television to a new high, well beyond what anyone could have predicted just a few short years ago. This, while Hollywood produces fewer and fewer noteworthy films.
In some ways Game of Thrones reminds me of the elaborate chess game described in James Clavell’s Shogun. There is almost nothing predictable in the plot. A number of families vie for the Iron Throne (a throne chair made up of fused swords taken from the defeated enemy when the Seven Kingdoms were made into one). Pretenders arise and are defeated or killed. Within the warring families plots and subplots brew. It is an amalgam of historic dynasties welded together into one age, one time, and it never fails to defeat any prediction you make as to who is currently the leading contender.
I have read and am currently rereading the extant five volumes. I am on volume three right now. The first season followed the first book as closely as was possible given the disparate natures of written word and cinema. There are deletions, some unimportant characters or inessential events left out of that season’s episodes, but their goal of not bastardizing the work was certainly maintained. The major differences have to do with the ages of the actors who portray the younger generation that will be most effected by the war. In the books these players are all in the mid teens. The actors who play them are several years older. I suspect that this is due to a modern understanding that 15 year olds are children where at an earlier time and in less developed societies, most notably in Africa, much younger children have been inducted into the service of warlords  as fighting men. Most modern 15 year olds would have a hard time holding their water in the presence of real violence.
In the second season of Game of Thrones we see much more of a departure from the original texts. There are more characters dropped and several of the events are modified to make them easier to film and to make the story flow. Even with these modifications the main plot continues to hold together. Some characters are changed to make them more “human”, but this does not really change the story sufficiently to damage it in any way. It is still very much George Martin’s tale.
Each season has ten episodes of approximately 55 minutes in length. There is a good deal of nudity, some of it full frontal, so if the violence was not enough to keep you from allowing your children to watch, then the nudity and sex definitely should provide motivation in that direction. This is adult content, not for kids.
I purchased both the first and second seasons in BluRay, and I am glad I did. The special features included in both sets were worth the price of admission. The small difference in price between BluRay and DVD was easily justified. Both seasons are available at Costco for $41 apiece. The boxed sets come with DVD version and digital download as well as five BluRay disks.
I highly recommend the series. Whether you have read the books or not, this is great stuff, rich characters, complex and twisting plots, great actors, all set in a mythical world that is close enough to medieval Europe that it is easy to accept. Martin has not only created a believable world, he has given it a major backstory with family histories of all the major players extending back through multiple generations. This is not like Star Wars which was “make up as you go along”, it is much more like Tolkien, deeply thought out and planned. Martin is a rare genius, the kind that comes once in many generations. If you have not seen Game of Thrones, do yourself a big favor and get season one. I guarantee that you will not regret it.
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Gitano
"Race has now replaced rule of law officially. In one speech our president has reversed 60 years of healing the racial divide and destroyed the dream of Dr. King. The result will be an exact reversal of the conditions existing before The Civil Rights Act. And the hardest hit will be the children in whose name the left always claims to act. Well done Obama". - Pendark

Offline gitano1

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Re: Game of Thrones Season 1 and 2 ******
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 08:26:10 AM »
I wanted to add one quick note to this review. I heard a commentator yesterday saying that he had read all of the books, but had not watched the first two seasons before starting the third. He was totally confused and had no idea what was happening. The videos do not follow the books exactly. Elements of the third book are included in the second season, as mentioned above. If you are going to get into this series, you need to start at season one, episode one and work your way through. There are far too many subplots running for anyone to be able to pick up the storyline any any place but the beginning.
Gitano
"Race has now replaced rule of law officially. In one speech our president has reversed 60 years of healing the racial divide and destroyed the dream of Dr. King. The result will be an exact reversal of the conditions existing before The Civil Rights Act. And the hardest hit will be the children in whose name the left always claims to act. Well done Obama". - Pendark