Tag Archives: Game Of Thrones

The Rains of Castamere

rainsYeah, I know I’m  a year behind on Game of Thrones. And, yeah, I know I should read the books – someday.  I just finished Season 3 last night and its slowly displacing Breaking Bad as my favourite late-model TV series.

While I thought I had adjusted to the ruthless cunning woven into the brilliantly written script, I was completely caught off guard by The Rains of Castamere. This is one reason the show is so compelling; no matter how clever you think you are at predicting how the pieces will move about the chess board, invariably you will be wrong. Kill off a main character? Sure, that happens all the time. Two? Sure, just another day playing the Game of Thrones. But three in one episode and all in the last 10 minutes? And then there was the brutal way it was executed, acting from Michelle Fairley deserving an Emmy,  followed by a simple fade to credits with absolutely no soundtrack. That was an excellent production play – no sound, no images, black backdrop, white words — leaving the audience alone to absorb the abrupt changes and playing on the uncertainty principle to heighten tension.

The actual season end was anticlimactic but that’s the pattern GoT has established. The second to the last episode of the season will completely change the storyline,  the last episode will show you the possibilities of how the story might unfold next season. Then you wait until Spring.

I didn’t think any episode of any series could dismantle Breaking Bad’s Ozymandias as my all-time favourite but that title is now held by The Rains of Castamere.

Win Or Die

The Goddess of User Interface at my FT job went on about this show last year. The Goddess never goes on about anything really since she is a Goddess and therefore everything is peripherally amusing and noted for possible future reference. However, she told me how she watched one episode, then found herself inside for the entire weekend watching the whole lot back-to-back in a self-constructed marathon.


I found myself in Target and noticed that Season 1 of the Goddess addiction show  was available on Blu Ray and  on sale. Quick Amazon price comp, then plop, into the cart it went.

I now understand Goddess’ short-term obsession as well as the IMDB rating of 9.4, which makes it the highest rated TV show (tied with Breaking Bad and The Wire)

It reminds me of what might have been happening in the rest of Middle Earth whilst the Hobbitsus were tromping about trying to hurl some ring into a volcano. It is an exceedingly brutal, violent, sexy, dramatic and even thought-provoking ride as families do what they must in an unrelenting struggle for power.  I tried to find some flaw in the show but the plot, writing, acting, production, direction, costumes, sets, location, props – everything is excellent. I believe this is what happens when you have talent, focus and collaboration in play simultaneously.

I like the high wire balance the writers have crafted. Not everything happens according to plan, there is no detectable pattern and often good does not triumph. Despite the emotional roller-coaster, sudden storyline swerves and a cast of characters that probably will be in the hundreds, there is serious character development and it seems plausible every step of the way.

I also like that most episodes end abruptly with a surprise  hammer-to-the-face plot twist, usually paired with a memorable tag line. My favorite so far,

“In the game of thrones, either you win or you die, there is no middle ground here”.

Thrones, modern day governments,  board rooms across the globe – its just a difference in clothing and titles.