Revisiting George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings

With HBO’s adaptation of Martin’s epic fantasy series almost finished, even if the series itself certainly isn’t, I will be revisiting my original reviews from 2011 of the five books in the series completed by Martin.  You can find my review of A Game of Thrones here.

A Clash of Kings is the follow-up to A Game of Thrones and the second of a projected seven books in the Song of Ice and Fire series (upon which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based).  Following the events of the first book, as many as five different kings are vying for the iron throne.  Needless to say, the political situation dramatically changes again over the course of the book, and the series adds to the already impressive body count from A Game of Thrones.

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Game of Thrones Recap: Season 8, Episode 2

Episode 2, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, is another slow episode, but it is vastly better than episode 1.  The first half of the episode drags as expected guests arrive at Winterfell and long-separated characters have conversations about things we already know.  But it is a very good episode nonetheless.  One, because the impending attack by the Night King—before the next sunrise after Tormund arrives, as we know from the previews—gives everything that happens in the second half of the episode an extra edge.  Two, because the writing is killer.  There are so, so many great one liners.

The previously-on suggests that this episode will be dominated by the tension between Dany and Jon now that Jon knows the truth of his parentage.  The one clip that isn’t recent is Jaime pushing Bran out of the window at the end of the first episode.  Well, yeah, now I can see why we won’t quite yet get to the Battle for Winterfell this episode, although those two aspects play a surprisingly small role.

Full SPOILERS below the cut.

Pic courtesy of HBO

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Revisiting George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones

With HBO’s adaptation of Martin’s epic fantasy series almost finished, even if the series itself certainly isn’t, I will be revisiting my original reviews from 2011 of the five books in the series completed by Martin.

A Game of Thrones invites comparisons to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time.  The series rivals those in quality but is very different in style and tone.  The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time are about epic battles between good and evil; A Game of Thrones is similarly epic in scope, but the good and evil are contained within each character.  It is, at its heart, about power and its acquisition.  The tone is far darker than the aforementioned series and is unrelenting.

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Game of Thrones Recap: Season 8, Episode 1

It’s happening!  Episode one of Game of Throne’s final season is mostly about reunions and moving pieces around the board.  Too much time for the former, I think, as much as we fans want to see them.  We learn almost nothing in this episode.  The characters, on the other hand, learn a lot.  The writers also put an enlarged F/X budget to great use.

Full SPOILERS under the cut.

Photo courtesy of HBO

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Happy Game of Thrones Final Season Premiere Day!

This is it!  It’s hard to believe that Game of Thrones is almost over.  The first season aired in the spring of 2011.  I had heard of A Song of Ice and Fire from fellow The Wheel of Time fans, but I didn’t pick up the series until the show was ordered.  I pounded through the first four books.  I remember throwing A Storm of Swords across the living room of my now-wife’s apartment after reading the Red Wedding.  I took a few days off from studying for the bar to read A Dance With Dragons as soon as it was released.

I was living in Chicago when Game of Thrones aired.  I remember how exciting it was to see ads for the show featuring the iron throne around the city.  After growing up with the Conan movies and the sword and sorcery movie boom in the 80s, then an almost entirely fantasy-free decade with the 90s, it is just cool to see a high-quality fantasy show on television that is part of the cultural conversation.

I rewatched all 67 existing episodes of Game of Thrones in anticipation of the final season.  You can find my reviews of the first seven seasons below the jump, as well as several other Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire-related content I have featured at Every Day Should Be Tuesday over the years.

I will be resuming the recap posts I did for season 7.  You can find those posts below and expect my recap of the season 8 premiere tomorrow morning.

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Game of Thrones: Season 7 Review

Done!  I finished my rewatch of all 67 existing episodes of Game of Thrones last night.  I am all set to watch the final season live via a Hulu Live subscription and an HBO add-on.  As I did last season, I will be posting recaps of each episode.

On rewatch, I have season 7 pegged in the bottom half of all seasons.  It has what we have come to expect from the latter seasons: shocking twists, a measure of catharsis, outstanding and astounding effects work and CGI and sometimes clumsy storytelling, lack of attention to details, and massive plot holes.  Almost all superfluous plotlines have been discarded, but the pacing is both hurt and helped (mostly hurt) by the short, seven-episode season.

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Game of Thrones: Season 6 Review

Only. Four. More. Days. Until the final season of Game of Thrones premieres.  With just seven episodes left in my great rewatch—67 episodes in 67 days—I am definitely going to make it!  My review of season seven should go up on Friday, I’m planning one more Game of Thrones post on Saturday and Sunday, and then I will recap the premiere on Monday.

Season six benefits from a tremendous amount of much-delayed catharsis, but tons of time is burned moving pieces around the board, the writers are still furiously junking Martin’s plotlines, and the show writers’ weaknesses are starting to show.  One big WHAM! moment (or maybe two, depending on how you count) is much less effective because the writers drop the ball in season 7.

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