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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

‘Game of Thrones’ leaps into its third season

Published: April 19, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc.

The third season of the hit HBO TV show “Game of Thrones” aired on March 31. It was one of the most highly-anticipated season premieres, having met more than 11.3 million viewers during the second season. The series, based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” has been nominated for 13 Emmy awards in 2011. The second season won six of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The third season was released one year after the end of the second season, and is comprised of 10 episodes, each about five to seven minutes longer than earlier episodes.

The reason for the one-year gap was rumored to be the simultaneous filming of third and fourth seasons. The director, however, stated that though efficient, the required scope of writing would make this impossible. Production and shooting were delayed because of an unfortunate accident endured by Kit Harrington (the actor who plays Jon Snow). He fell and broke his ankles while attempting to jump from the bannister of an apartment, thus preventing the filming of the scenes north of the Wall until he could walk again.

The third season of the show saw 4.2 million live viewers, while many more people watched it on demand. The season started off slowly, as the first episode set the background and tone instead of jumping straight into the storyline.

The two episodes that followed plunged into the war for the Iron Throne, a war still raging between three great armies. The third book in the series, on which the season is based, is full of action, as it is right in the thick of the war. Viewers can therefore expect a great deal of action and drama throughout this season. The third episode begins with the power of Daenerys Targaryen’s growing dragons, as she willingly trades one of them for an army of eight thousand castrated slaves. Both her advisors, Ser Barristan the Bold and Ser Jorah Mormont, tell her that this is a foolish trade. However, she ignores them and does it anyway.

The savvy viewer can tell with her slight smile that she hints at the fact that she has a plan in hand. Jaime and Brienne have been captured by Roose Bolton’s sellswords, and we see a change start to creep over Jaime: he grows into the character he is seen to be in the novels, changing shape and becoming a caring, moralistic individual.

Robb Stark’s battle continues, although it reaches a turning point when his uncle foolishly destroys his battle plan by attacking Ser Tywin Lannister’s banner men and forces them away from their destination. We see Stark grow more and more kingly, willing to take control and make decisions and to chastise and castigate his followers for their mistakes. This is a change from his somewhat subdued manner in the earlier seasons, when he depended on his mother and his banner men’s advice to make his choices.
Tyrion essentially stays the same. In this season, he is taken from power and jousts with his sister, father and nephew for control. He is placed as Master of the Coin after Littlefinger’s promotion, and is expected to cure the woes and debts of the entire kingdom. Peter Dinklage plays the part of Tyrion brilliantly, showing his condescending and satirizing wit in perfect concord with the novels.

During the third season of “Game of Thrones,” the audience starts to see a real change in the younger characters. Daenerys returns back to her role from the first season, showing strong leadership and less of the little, lost girl. During the second season, she spent much of her time wandering around, saying that things cannot—that she will not—let them happen, simply because she has the family name Targaryen. In the third season, we start to see her become more assertive, just as Robb does. She is more confident, able to make decisions and plans to achieve her goals. She still listens to her advisors, but does not follow their whims as easily as she did before.

As the third season takes off, favorite characters continue to develop while others suffer danger and even death. Following the path of its precedents, the show continues to entrance millions of viewers.