Game of Thrones – Season 3 On Blu-Ray

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HBO is quickly becoming the gold standard by which I measure a collection’s extras, and transfers by, and the latest season of George R.R. Martin’s epic and involving fantasy tale is another feather in their cap.

Since it burst on the scene in 2011, the series has enraptured fans and non-fans alike with its character driven story, fantastic locations, and intricate politics. Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been wonderfully faithful to the source material, encapsulating one volume in the Song Of Ice And Fire each season. With a brilliant cast, that seems to have literally walked out of the imagination of Martin, viewers have followed the series passionately and now, thanks to the release of Season 3 on Blu-Ray, they can refresh or catch up before Season 4 begins April 6.

And while the Red Wedding will be the thing most viewers remember from this season, and it is no less shocking (Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen)!) or troubling having seen it a couple of times now (I’ve even read all the books (to date) and it still troubled me), the rest of the season is replete with great performances and stories as the war for the Iron Throne continues -  one of my faves is the last scene of the season between Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and Jon Snow (Kit Harrington).

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Everyone has their characters that they love, or love to hate, and I’m no different, but what I love about the series is that those lines seem to waver, someone you hate, or may consider a ‘villain’ does something that redeems them, at least until their next nefarious act, and you reconsider your stand on them, its brilliant!

I’ve made no secret of my favorite characters, Tyrion (the wonderful Peter Dinklage), Bronn (Jerome Flynn), Arya (Maisie Williams), Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), Hodor (Kristian Nairn) and Davos (Liam Cunningham), and each of them get some brilliant moments this season. I was also delighted to see Diana Rigg join an already amazing cast this season as Olenna Tyrell, one more character to keep a watch on. The show continues to draw strong talent to it, Charles Dance, Ciaran Hinds, Iain Glen Lena Headey, Stephen Dillane, Julian Glover, and Natalie Dormer to name just a small portion of the cast.

And watch I did, I mainlined all three seasons again over the past 10 days, just to watch the story so far as one big cohesive whole, and I have to say, the Blu-ray picture looks magnificent! I’m one of those people who love to see all the details when I immerse myself into a world, with the level of definition available on Blu-ray, I love seeing the textures of the fabrics costumes are made out of, the detailing of the set, and also the incredible work on this series with green-screen set extensions… it all looks amazingly beautiful on Blu-ray.

The sound is top-notch, whether I’m venturing beyond The Wall with the Night Watch, or wandering the Red Keep, the sound design for this series continues to help create the reality of the world, and much like the picture, it has been transferred perfectly in this collection.

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As mentioned in previous reviews I am a sucker for behind the scenes information, making-of features, and the like, and this collection is no different, there are commentaries featuring cast and crew, several making of featurettes, as well as character profiles to keep names and families straight if you find yourself getting a little lost…

My favorite was the histories and lore special features which helps to expand the on-screen world with tales, legends and stories told by character set to animation that allow us a little more insight to them. Nice touch.

For those who like to get their info while the show is running, the Game of Thrones Blu-rays, there is an in-episode guide that can run concurrently while you view the episode, and if you are unsure of a character, their allegiances or where they are, boom, press a button and catch up. This is a great help for new viewers starting on season 1, if you find yourself getting muddled along the way… it is a lot of names and families to keep straight after all.

I love the fact that HBO is also incorporating DVD and digital copies with their Blu-Ray, doesn’t mean I’m eager to lend my sets out but I like to know I have the possibility of watching the show wherever I go!

And as I finish writing this post, I sit here wondering if I can get through all three seasons again before season 4 starts in April…

Valar morghulis.

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Game of Thrones S02 E10 – Valar Morghulis

There it is, the season finale, and we’re done for another year, it’s gonna be a long wait for a return to Westeros, but maybe I’ll read Dance of Dragons between now and then to fill up some of the time.

This week, we saw the fallout of the Battle of Breakwater, as well as things setting up events for Season 3 and beyond of course.

Tyrion wakes to discover he’s no long the Hand of the King, his father has reclaimed the title, and he’s been ousted from his quarters, his men in the King’s Guard have been removed and his hillmen have been sent home. He also learns that his sister was behind the attempt on his life during the battle.

In moments, we see everything that he has worked for, gained, and amassed over the course of the season, is swept away from him, leaving him broken, and literally scarred.

He even attempts to drive Shea away by speaking cruelly, but she refuses, and eventually he breaks down in tears, in a wonderfully poignant moment, ending with the two of them clinging to one another as he cries. Still proving he’s my favorite character.

Margaery is put forth to Joffrey as a potential bride, replacing Sansa Stark, who is at first elated at the idea until Little Finger points out that Joffrey would still keep her around to use and abuse her…

Daenerys is having troubles of her own and goes to the House of the Undying to reclaim her dragons, there she is confronted by illusions and magic created by Pyat Pree, including one of the north beyond the one and one where she speaks with her dead husband Drogo, and the unrealized child they would have had together.

Finally she confronts the sorcerer, and unleashes fiery death upon him courtesy of her dragons. Nice.

She locks Xaro in his own safe as payment for her betrayal of her, and takes all she can lay her hands on to a buy a ship for her return to Westeros…

Bran and Rickon come across a dying Maester Pycelle, who urges them to go north to The Wall, after his flight from a sacked and burned Winterfell, from where Theon Greyjoy has been taken by his own men, after a rather rousing speech which came to naught…

Arya (my other favorite character) and Jaqen part ways, but not before he advises her that should she like to learn his ways, she only needs to show a special coin, that he gifts her, and say the words, Valar Morghulis, which means “all men must die.” Before they go their seperate ways, Jaqen physically changes his appearance, and leaving Arya debating the course of her future…

Brienne and Jamie Lannister are making for King’s Landing…

Robb Stark marries Talisa, breaking a promise he made to the House of Frey to marry one of his daughters. That won’t go well… Having read the books, I know that won’t go well…

Finally, beyond the Wall, Qorin Halfhand is slain in combat by Jon Snow, which will only cement his acceptance into Mance Rayder’s men…

And at the Fist of the First Men, where Sam and other members of the Night’s Watch wait, they hear three blasts of the horn, meaning White Walkers!

Portly Sam is left behind as the other men flee back to camp, and he is in their midst as the White Walkers, frightening and monstrous stride out of the snow storm…

It’s a great end to the season, tying up a number of story lines and getting us ready to launch into new ones. For those of us who have read the books, we know whats coming, but I am loving this adaptation to the small screen, and am looking forward to its return next year.

Good thing I have lots to occupy myself with in the interim…

What do you think of the finale?

Game of Thrones S02 E07 & E08

As we know, things went sideways for me last week, so I didn’t have a chance to watch Game of Thrones until this evening, and watched both eps back to back again.

To be honest, I almost prefer it this way, getting two hours of solid entertainment.

Theon Greyjoy, having installed himself into Winterfell, wakes to find that Osha, who bedded the night before, has escaped with Bran Stark, Rickon and Hodor.

He calls for a search, in an effort to hunt them down. Let’s just say if I didn’t know what was coming the last shot of the episode would’ve made me furious, it does make me want Theon to get his comeuppance sooner rather than later.

In Harenhal, Arya Stark, serving as Tywin Lannister’s cup-bearer, get to know one another better. Though Tywin realizes she may not be common bred as she pretends, he does not realize she’s a Stark. In fact, in his own way, he takes quite a shine to her. Who can blame him? She’s one of my favorite characters!

At King’s Landing, Sansa Stark is living in fear, frightened by The Hound, she’s still thankful that he saved her life during the riots. She has nightmares about it, and she also realizes, when she wakes, that she’s begun to menstruate. A terrifying though, because now, Cersei Lannister, knows she can bear Joffrey Lannister, the masochistic young king a child.

In a great scene, Tyrion Lannister and Cersei discuss Joffrey, his brother and sister. Cersei wonders if Joffrey is the payment for her sins of his heritage, born as he was from an incestuous relationship.

You can see that both Tyrion and Cersei are shocked to realize that they are revealing so much to one another, and share a common moment of sympathy.

Meanwhile, in Robb Stark’s camp, Jaime Lannister makes his move, and escapes from his confinement but is recaptured. While some people demand his death right away, Catelyn Stark realizes he is still a bargaining chip, and demands that he be kept alive. Jaime however keeps pushing at her, delivering jibes about the late Ned Stark and his bastard son Jon Snow.

Far to the North, beyond the Wall, Ygritte and Jon continue traveling the snowy wastelands, with the Wildling woman taunting and teasing Jon Snow with her sexuality, until she finally leads him to be captured by her people.

Finally across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen is looking for her dragons, after the slaughter that was revealed at the end of episode 6. Xaro Xhaon Daxos tries to aid her, and Jorah Mormont forgets his place with her. Finally in the council of The Thirteen, Xaro and the sorcerer Pyat Pree reveal they have the dragons in the House of the Undying, as the warlock gleefully kills the rest of the council.

Then I dived right into the next episode, knowing that it’s not happening yet, but knowing that the Battle of Blackwater is coming…

Ygritte brings the captured Jon Snow before the Lord of Bones, and I love this character’s costume design, it’s awesome and frightening. We also see that Qhorin Halfhand was captured as well. Jon and he scheme together as they are lead further north. Qhorin believes that Jon can make the Wildlings believe he wants to join them.

Wondering where Qhorin and Jon are, Samwell and the rest of the Night’s Watch discover a cache of dragon glass weapons, which believe me, will be of  great importance and use.

At Winterfell, Yara Greyjoy shows up to chastise Theon, and tells him their father is calling him home. She reminds him that Winterfell is landlocked and they are island people. She belittles him for killing a the Stark boys Bran and Rickon. Luwin, the maester of Winterfell sees Osha though, and learns that the boys are still alive, and safe in hiding.

At King’s Landing, Tyrion and Bronn are scouring history books for a key and clue to defending King’s Landing against the inevitable attack they both know is coming. They begin to develop a plan to use the stockpiles of wildfire they have on hand.

Cersei, anxious that Tyrion may orchestrate some harm to befall Joffrey, seizes a prostitute that she believes is involved with Tyrion. He’s relieved to learn it isn’t Shae, who he has safely hidden in plain sight as Sansa’s handmaiden, but Ros, another prostitute. Pretending to be bested by Cersei, he swears to Ros she will be safe, and to be brave.

Robb learns that Catelyn has set Jaime Lannister free and sent him off with Brienne. Her plan is to have him returned to King’s Landing, and have her daughters returned to her.

Seeking solace, Robb turns to Talisa, and they finally, though coyly, admit their feelings for one another, and then tumble to the ground passionately.

But back at Harenhal, Arya Stark names her third name to the assassin Jaqen H’ghar. That of Tywin Lannister, but when she learns Tywin has already left, she names Jaqen himself. Stunned, he pleads with Arya to un-name him. She agrees if  he will help her and her friends escape.

He unhappily agrees.

I am a huge fan of the way this book series has been adapted for the small screen. I know some people have complained and whined that there are things missing from the show that are in the book, but I find it incredibly faithful to the spirit of the book. The costumes, locations, sets, effects (both practical and CG), the performances, the writing and the music, the show entrances and entertains…

And like I said, I cannot wait to see the battle of Blackwater!

I can’t believe the season is almost over already!

Game of Thrones S02 E05 & E06

I missed out on doing a post last week for Game of Thrones Episode 5 because Sue and I were hip deep in the awesomeness that is Hot Docs.

So this evening, I sat down and worked my way through two episodes back to back to catch up on all the scheming, betrayal and murder…

In what would’ve been the season finale for most shows, Renly is assassinated by Melisandre’s shadow creature in the opening moments of episode 5 as Catelyn and Brienne watch in horror. Being blamed for the attack, the two are forced to flee the camp and make their way north, where they rejoin Robb in his camp, just as Robb is obviously beginning to fall for Talisa.

Catelyn gently reminds he is already promised to someone. Robb and his company react in horror and anger when they receive news that Theon Greyjoy has seized Winterfell.

In Winterfell, Bran is suffering still from his dreams of the three-eyed raven as well as the belief that the sea is coming to Winterfell… Which it does when Theon shows up, and in taking the keep he beheads Rodrik in front of Bran, despite the young boys pleas.

Osha seduces Theon to aid Bran in his escape from Winterfell. They escape into the shadow of night , with Bran’s dire wolf in tow.

In Harenahal  Arya is serving as Tywin Lannister’s cup-bearer, listening to everything that is going on, and ends up hiding in plain sight when Baelish shows up to confer with Tywin. Little-Finger comes with news of the possibility of making an alliance with Loras and Margaery Tyrell now that Renly is dead.

Arya comes across Jaqen the prisoner she freed now in serving as a Lannister soldier. He tells her that with the escape she helped with in freeing himself and his two fellow prisoners, he owes her three deaths.

She has her first one in moments, choosing The Tickler, the man who tortured the people of Harenhal. He shows up with a broken neck, and his head turned completely around.

She’s pressured into her second choice when having stolen a missive from Tywin’s books with word of her brother, a Lannister soldier stops her. Before he can inform on her, she arranges his death.

Jon Snow and some fellow crows head out on a seek and destroy to wipe out a small camp of wildlings who are keeping an eye on them from a distance. Arriving there they quickly dispatch all of them but for one, whom Jon discovers is a woman, Ygritte. Using the moment of indecision the woman flees, with Jon in pursuit, but through the chase, Jon loses track of his men, and the two are left in the frozen wild alone.

In King’s Landing Tyrion discovers that the alchemists are making a dangerous concoction known as wildfire, he tells the alchemist that they are no longer making it for his sister Cersei, but now work for him.

He has also arranged for Myrcella to be sent away to be married off in Dorne. On their way back, the peasants hungry and angry, attack the King’s party, and Joffrey orders them all killed. The mob literally rips some of the party apart, and Joffrey flees, leaving Sansa to the crowd.

About to be raped, beaten and murdered, she is rescued by The Hound, who quickly, and brutally dispatches her attackers, returning her safely, though bruised and bloodied to the castle, where the only person who expressed concern over her is Tyrion.

In Qarth, Dany wonders what her next move will be, and is warned that her adviser, Jorah, may have more than feelings of loyalty for her, which she doesn’t believe.

Instead, she focuses on trying to barter for a ship, or ships, to take her across the Narrow Sea to Westeros to reclaim the Iron Throne. But which ever way she turns, she is met only by traders who want the money first, or whatever else she may have on offer.

The last moments of episode 6 sees Dany returning to the house afforded her in Qarth to discover her that many of her people have been murdered, and her tiny trio of dragons have been stolen!!

Game of Thrones S02E03 – What Is Dead May Never Die

The politics and machinations are well under way at this point of the season, as parties maneuver to gain control of the Iron Throne and the lands of Westeros.

North of the Wall, we rejoin Jon Snow as Craster delivers him to Lord Commander Mormont after catching Snow spying on the fate of Craster’s male children, murdered and delivered to the White Walkers.

Sam in the interim is obviously quite taken with Gilly, one of Craster’s daughter/wives, and leaves her one of his mother’s items as a promise to return.

From North of the Wall we travel south to Winterfell, to check in with the young, lame Bran. He has been having dreams, where he can run, walk, hunt and eat. He is beginning to suspect these are more than dreams, that they are real, that he is somehow connected with his dire wolf.

We travel further south to find Lady Stark arriving at King Renly’s camp in the midst of a gladiatorial game, in which the flamboyant Loras, the so-called Knight of Flowers, is bested by a towering knight, who upon winning reveals herself as Brienne, a much-loved character from the book series. Though I will say, she is not as ugly as she is described in the books, but that is the wonder of television one supposes. The victory earns her a spot in the illustrious King’s Guard.

We also learn that not only is Renly married to Margaery, though he’s yet to consummate the marriage, he is also sexually involved with her brother, Loras.

Margaery is aware of the relationship, and takes it in stride, but counsels Renly that if he fathers a child with her, it cements their union and strengthens their hold, denying their enemies.

From there we travel to Pyke, where the Greyjoys are developing battle plans to slip behind Robb Stark’s line of attack across the south and seize the North behind him. Lord Greyjoy questions where Theon’s loyalties lie because of his friendship with Robb while he was a ward of Ned Stark. Theon is given one ship to go raiding with, but his sister Yara is given a fleet of 30 and will do the bulk of he fleet action. Theon temporarily toys with the idea of warning Robb, but commits himself to his family and is baptized with salt water as he proclaims his faith in the Drowned God.

Meanwhile in King’s Landing, Tyrion is weaving webs of his own, to ferret out who the spy for his sister is. Telling each of his suspects, Little-finger, Varys, and Grand Maester Pycelle that he plans to marry Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella,  off to three different men. Knowing that whatever story he hears from Cersei will reveal the spy to him.

He also arranges for his mistress, Shae, to become Sansa Stark’s new handmaiden, hiding her in plain sight, so Cersei won’t know who she is.

Sansa, meanwhile is beginning to realize how truly trapped she is becoming amidst the Lannisters, and is closing very quickly in on despair.

Tyrion’s machinations pay off, revealing Pycelle as the spy, when confronted by Tyrion and Bronn, he proclaims his allegiance to House Lannister, always House Lannister, but Tyrion banishes him to one of the infamous black cells.

Finally we venture along the King’s Road, where we find Arya spending a sleepless night, and attempts to engage Yoran in conversation. She wants to know how he can sleep at night when he has seen so many horrible things.

The two are interrupted as a group of soldiers, loyal to the Lannisters stumble upon them, seeking Gendry.

Urging Arya and Gendry to escape and go north, Yoran is slain by the soldiers, who then proceed to ransack the convoy, and slay many of those on their way to The Wall.

Arya, helps the prisoners in the convoy escape, but then is set upon by a soldier who capture her and others,  steals her sword, and uses it to run through one of her young traveling companions.

When the soldiers demand that they tell them where Gendry is, Arya points out Gendry’s helmet next to her slain companion, saying you already got him.

This show gets better and better, and even having read the books, and knowing what’s coming, seeing it unfold on the screen is a spectacular ride, the production continues to be lush and stunning, and the characters grow and change from week to week – the death of Ned Stark hangs over everything as a reminder that anyone can die at any time.

How long will your favorite character last?

Game of Thrones S02E02 – The Night Lands

The Song of Fire & Ice continued this week, with the incomparable fantasy series Game of Thrones.

And you know you’re addicted, and a geek, when you notice and pick out new locations that you’ve read about and imagined appear in what may well be my favorite opening credits for a television series ever.

This week, the much missed Arya, is seen on her way along the King’s Road with the intention of returning to Winterfell. However, when soldiers from King’s Landing stumble upon the convoy, she’s afraid they are seeking her.

She’s surprised to learn that they are looking for Gendry, both of whom have no idea that he is the sole remaining bastard of Robert Baratheon’s womanizing ways.

It does give them something to talk about though, and you can see the beginning of what will be a great friendship.

Gendry, in his time, reveals that he knows Arya is a girl masquerading as a boy, but won’t let her secret out.

They also have one of the best lines of dialogue this week.

Gendry: You shouldn’t insult people taller than you.

Arya: Then I wouldn’t get to insult anyone.

The Lannisters, Tyrion and Cersei, back in King’s Landing spar with one another, attempting to solidify positions of power over one another, planning, scheming and being treacherous with one another, through the course of their banter, and towards the end, Cersei actually hurts Tyrion, though he hides it well. Tyrion cements some of his own power by exiling Janos to the wall for his part in the betrayal of Ned Stark.

Tyrion cements some of his own power by exiling Lord Janus to the wall for his part in the betrayal of Ned Stark. He also verbally jousts with Varys, The Spider, possibly one of the most treacherous and conniving characters in King’s Landing, letting him know that, unlike Ned, he doesn’t see himself as an honorable man, and will destroy Varys if he moves against him.

Cersei destroys the first list of demands that Robb Stark sends her, and they also receive word, while in council, that there are rumors of White Walkers afoot north of the Wall. A threat that Cersei promptly laughs at, and discards despite Tyrion’s words of warning.

North of The Wall, the men of the Night’s Watch are still encamped at Craster’s home. Sam and Jon meet Gilly, one of his wives/daughters (eww), who is pregnant. Sam wants to help her get away, and Jon while against it, may well be on his way to changing his mind when he sees what becomes of the children born to the wives that are not female. No sooner does Jon discover this secret, when he is rendered unconscious by Craster who catches him spying.

Theon Greyjoy, who was kept at Winterfell as a ward of Ned Stark’s, to keep the Iron Islands in check, specifically the rulers at Pyke, returns home after 9 years, as an emissary from Robb Stark, and hopes to reclaim his role as heir to the throne there.

He arrives, not to the throngs he expected to greet him but an old man, and an attractive woman who agrees to escort him to the keep. Unfortunately for those of us who read the book, we know her identity already, and watching him fondle and caress her is troubling, especially once the audience and the story catches up and we learn that this woman, is his sister Yara.

Yara has taken the role meant for him, proving herself to their father Balon, who seems almost to despise his returned son, thinking him Stark’s man instead of his son.

An uncomfortable family reunion all around.

Stannis Baratheon’s man Davos, is out attempting to recruit men, armies, navies, and finally meets the likeable and fun character of Salladhor Saan, who agrees to serve Stannis in return for certain promises.

Melisandre, meanwhile, seduces Stannis with the promise of a son, something his sickly wife cannot give him, and in a highly symbolic moment, they copulate atop a table-top map of Westeros.

We are given brief glimpses of Little-finger, and an equally brief moment with Dany and Jorah, as they await the return of the Dothraki riders she sent out. When of the horses returns riderless, with a severed head in its saddlebag. Dany comforts the mourning wife, but you know she will have revenge on those who killed the blood of her blood.

But that’s at least a week off…

Hurry up Sunday!

Until then, I’m just going to sit and marvel at the gorgeous production values of this show. The acting continues to be top-notch, the story is being masterfully adapted, the locations are lovely, and the sets look like anything but. Everything I’ve seen on this show is trying to convince my brain that Westeros is a real place, and that is one of the highest compliments I can pay this show. It’s amazing to watch and look at, and although I’ve read the books, I still get excited seeing what makes it to the screen, what does it, and how it’ll be interpreted for television, and so far it has not disappointed!

Game of Thrones airs Sunday evenings on HBO.

Game of Thrones S02E01 – The North Remembers

I have been looking forward to returning to Westeros since the end of the first season of Game of Thrones, not to mention when I finished the books (still haven’t read Dance of Dragons yet – paperback please).

The novels, and now the series it has spawned is epic in nature, there are tons of locations, a plethora of characters, and layer upon layer of politics and betrayals.

The first episode throws us right back into it. The harbinger that is the comet continues to hang in the sky, a sword of Damocles, and gives us moments with all of our favorite characters, well those ones that are still alive at this point.

That was the sad part, but it’s the same in the books, because the story is so huge, you only get to spend bits of time with each and every character. One of my favorites, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) is talked about through the entire episode, as the Lannisters are hoping to use the late Ned Stark’s (Sean Bean) daughters to keep the rest of the family in line, or at least to broker a form of peace between them.

It was nice when she showed at the end of the episode , accompanied by one of the late King Robert Baratheon’s (Mark Addy) bastards Gendry, making his way along the King’s Road away from King’s Landing where all of Baratheon’s ill begotten offspring are being slaughtered to make sure they can’t lay claim to the throne.

Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), the new king, born of the incestuous relations between Cersei (Lena Headey) and the captured Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), is still a completely spoiled ass, and he’s gonna be like that for a long time, at the cost of far too many lives.

Tyrion (Emmy and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage), by far one of my favorite characters, is always fun to watch, especially when he reveals that he has been made the new Hand of the King in the absence of his father. Cersei fumes at that, and I delight in seeing her thwarted.

The youngest son of the Stark household, Bran (Isaac Wright), is attempting to rule and maintain Winterfell, the Stark estate, while his mother and oldest son, Robb, who has laid claim to become King of the North.

I like that we’re getting to see some of Bran’s dreams, as he starts to realize he’s connected to his dire wolf.

The dire wolves themselves look great! Robb’s (Richard Madden), Grey Wind, is huge, and there’s a pretty sweet moment between him and the chained Jaime Lannister.

Petyr “Little Finger” Baelish (Aiden Gillen) is still trying to play his own political games, but coming up against Cersei Lannister almost proves to be his end.

Jon Snow (Kit Harington), and the members of the Night’s Watch have left The Wall, heading into the frozen north to investigate the barren villages, and the rumors of an army massing there.

We get a quick scene with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), her still-growing dragons, and her loyal aide Sir Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen).

Baratheon, had two brothers, both of whom are attempting to lay claim to the Iron Throne in Kings Landing, Renly and Stannis.

Stannis (Stephen Dillane) is advised by Melisandre (Carice van Houten), a sorceress sheathed all in red, who is going to be a lot of trouble…

The entire world is going to be torn apart in the war that is beginning to rage.

The production value of this series, and the level of detail in the costumes, weapons, locations, and all the props continues to stun and amaze. It is a completely realized world.

It’s hard not to get attached to a lot of these characters, even the ones you love to hate, especially when you know the body count the series is going to have.

Game of Thrones is back!

Game of Thrones Exhibit at the Lightbox

Yup, sometimes being here in Toronto is pretty cool. It also helps to have some awesome friends who offered me a free ticket to take in the Game of Thrones Exhibit being put on at the Lightbox, the home of the Toronto International Film Festival.

I have to say that I like the Lightbox, and I keep toying around with getting a membership. We’ll see what happens.

Howver, I was very eager to take a look at the props, photos, costumes, and behind the scenes info first hand.

And, the exhibit did not disappoint, though I felt, honestly, that they could’ve had more.

What there is made you think how cool it would be to see more.

They had a little sampling of everything, their were banners, plates, cups, a dragon egg, and some very nice weapons. The work on the scabbards was incredibly detailed, things that would never show up on camera, but simply added to the detail of the world – that is the kind of work I admire – making the world as real as possible.

There was a centerpiece of costumes, and my favorite had to be Jon Snow’s costume from the first series, his black, fur collared cloak, and his outfit. Very cool. Once again the details on it just made the world seem all that more lived in.

There were pics from the first series, as well as some images from the second series that I hadn’t seen yet, though, I’ve been kind of avoiding exposure to the second series, despite the fact that I already know what happens, having read the source material.

I ripped through the books. I had only watched the first episode, and was totally hooked by it, and promptly went out and bought the books, I am waiting, ever so patiently for Dance of Dragons to hit paperback (I have the rest in paperback, so it wouldn’t do to change format types right now – it would throw my bookshelves right out of whack, and I’m a little OCD about those types of things).

George RR Martin has created a fully realized, complex, and deceitful world. He also has no qualms about killing off his characters. The bodycount simply grows as the series progresses, and new characters are introduced all the time. For now though, Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow, and Arya Stark are holding on. They’re my favotrites. Course, now that I’ve put that out there, I have probably sealed their fates. Sigh.

I’m looking forward to the series return on HBO in April, but I also know that the season will fly by, and I’ll be left wanting more…