Fri, Apr 20, 2012 - Page 15 News List

TV review: Game of Thrones

Though its machine-gun barrage of characters and plot points threatens to overwhelm viewers, ‘Game of Thrones’ deserves high praise for its complexity, character development and attention to detail

By Ian Bartholomew  /  Staff reporter

It should be noted that the baring of flesh in Game of Thrones is definitely equal opportunity exploitation, as the men show off as much as the women, and there are sections of very frank sexual talk that might flip the switch for audiences of either sex. A gay/bisexual theme, sketched out in Season 1 is brought to full bedroom explicitness in the relationship between Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony), who claims the title King of Westeros, and Ser Loras Tyrell, Knight of the Flowers (Finn Jones).

Moreover, many commentators have pointed to the number of strong female characters in Game of Thrones, a significant difference from Tolkien’s largely male-dominated fantasy world. Michelle Fairley’s portrayal of Catelyn Stark, Eddard’s wife, and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, a queen without kingdom, whose wondering in the wilderness takes Game of Thrones to other exotic locations, are strong carryovers from Season 1, and one cannot but be intrigued by new characters such as Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth and Carice van Houten as the priestess Melisandre.

As interesting as Martin’s books are, the quality of the writing can sometimes be disappointing, but the HBO series is able to give his ideas an impressive visual realization. For the ins-and-outs of the plot, it is advisable to take a quick look through the books before becoming utterly bewildered by the machine-gun barrage of characters and plot points that may easily turn new viewers away from an otherwise excellent TV series.

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