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ENTERTAINMENT
May 6, 2013 | By Alan Eyerly
“The Climb,” an apt title for “Game of Thrones” Episode 26, refers to both a harrowing ascent up an icy precipice and to a bloody grab for power by exploiting the chaos of war. The physical climb - to the Wall's 700-foot summit - is attempted by Jon Snow (Kit Harington), girlfriend Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and other intrepid souls in the ragtag wildling army. Fear and commitment occupy the thoughts of Jon and Ygritte as they ready for the dangerous ascent. “I am your woman now, Jon Snow,” she says emphatically.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 7, 2014 | By Alan Eyerly
With the royal wedding of Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) fast approaching, goings on at King's Landing are as deadly and devious as ever on “Two Swords,” the Season 4 premiere of HBO's “Game of Thrones.” Tywin (Charles Dance), House Lannister's cold-blooded patriarch, begins Episode 31 by melting a sword made of rare Valyrian steel and having it forged into two weapons. He presents one sword to son Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) before ordering him to leave the capitol and rule over Casterly Rock, their ancestral stronghold.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 7, 2014 | By Alan Eyerly
With the royal wedding of Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) fast approaching, goings on at King's Landing are as deadly and devious as ever on “Two Swords,” the Season 4 premiere of HBO's “Game of Thrones.” Tywin (Charles Dance), House Lannister's cold-blooded patriarch, begins Episode 31 by melting a sword made of rare Valyrian steel and having it forged into two weapons. He presents one sword to son Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) before ordering him to leave the capitol and rule over Casterly Rock, their ancestral stronghold.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2014 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Although the weakest currency of criticism, superlatives have become a hallmark of television's recent resurgence. Words like "greatest," "smartest" and "funniest" are tossed about with the desperate regularity of Chuck E. Cheese tokens at a kindergartner's birthday party. So to say that "Game of Thrones," which returns, roaring and snorting, for its fourth season on Sunday night, is the Best Television Show Ever isn't just thoroughly subjective, it's reductive. Despite our increasingly wearisome penchant for lists, television was never linear enough for meaningful comparisons; it is now so wildly diverse in form and function that any sort of ranking or award is all but meaningless.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 29, 2013 | By Alan Eyerly
Teen Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) marry Tyrion "the Imp" Lannister (Peter Dinklage), a man twice her age and half her size? Incestuous Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) marry Sir Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones)? A handsome young man, surely, but one who finds knights more attractive than ladies. Who's behind this seemingly bizarre matchmaking? As we learn in Episode 25 of HBO's "Game of Thrones," it's Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance), a pragmatic tyrant motivated by power and wealth, not romantic niceties.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2014 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Although the weakest currency of criticism, superlatives have become a hallmark of television's recent resurgence. Words like "greatest," "smartest" and "funniest" are tossed about with the desperate regularity of Chuck E. Cheese tokens at a kindergartner's birthday party. So to say that "Game of Thrones," which returns, roaring and snorting, for its fourth season on Sunday night, is the Best Television Show Ever isn't just thoroughly subjective, it's reductive. Despite our increasingly wearisome penchant for lists, television was never linear enough for meaningful comparisons; it is now so wildly diverse in form and function that any sort of ranking or award is all but meaningless.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2013 | By Alan Eyerly
Young Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) can no longer walk. But as we see in Episode 22 (“Dark Wings, Dark Words”) of the HBO hit “Game of Thrones,” the Stark lad has the rare ability - in his “black magic dreams” - to run like a wolf or fly like a raven. Also possessing the gift of seeing through the eyes of animals is fellow “warg” Jojen Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), who joins Bran's entourage on their flight from Winterfell. Protecting Jojen with her blade and wits is older sister Meera (Ellie Kendrick)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 1, 2013 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Anyone who dismisses television viewing as a passive activity clearly hasn't watched "Game of Thrones. " HBO's crown jewel requires the sort of OCD focus and possibly the same picture-plastered, color-coded white board that Carrie Mathison used to track down Abu Nazir in Showtime's "Homeland. " As with the George R.R. Martin series from whence it sprung, "Game of Thrones" has redefined "sprawling epic. " And as Season 3 opens, the sprawl factor is perilously high, with the multitudinous characters - seven families, people, from seven kingdoms - scattered all over Westeros, their story lines progressing in an ever-climbing wall of overlapping layers, a citadel of narrative.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2013 | By Alan Eyerly
The unlikely bond between Sir Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his former guard Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) continues to blossom in “Game of Thrones” Episode 27, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” We see a surprising new side of Jaime since he was captured in battle and later lost his beloved sword hand. In very un-Lannister-like fashion, his arrogant elitism wanes and a compassionate nature emerges. Jaime is luckily en route to King's Landing after being freed by Lord Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton)
ENTERTAINMENT
June 10, 2013 | By Alan Eyerly
In contrast to the gut-wrenching carnage of last week's “Game of Thrones” - - in which Robb Stark (Richard Madden), his bride Talisa (Oona Chaplin), mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) and loyal banner men were slaughtered - - the season finale ends in joyful triumph. For Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), that is. “Mhysa,” the 30th episode of the HBO hit series, refers to the word “mother” in the language of Yunkai's slave population. Make that former slaves, because Daenerys liberated them without a wisp of dragon smoke.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 10, 2013 | By Alan Eyerly
In contrast to the gut-wrenching carnage of last week's “Game of Thrones” - - in which Robb Stark (Richard Madden), his bride Talisa (Oona Chaplin), mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) and loyal banner men were slaughtered - - the season finale ends in joyful triumph. For Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), that is. “Mhysa,” the 30th episode of the HBO hit series, refers to the word “mother” in the language of Yunkai's slave population. Make that former slaves, because Daenerys liberated them without a wisp of dragon smoke.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2013 | By Alan Eyerly
The unlikely bond between Sir Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his former guard Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) continues to blossom in “Game of Thrones” Episode 27, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” We see a surprising new side of Jaime since he was captured in battle and later lost his beloved sword hand. In very un-Lannister-like fashion, his arrogant elitism wanes and a compassionate nature emerges. Jaime is luckily en route to King's Landing after being freed by Lord Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton)
ENTERTAINMENT
May 6, 2013 | By Alan Eyerly
“The Climb,” an apt title for “Game of Thrones” Episode 26, refers to both a harrowing ascent up an icy precipice and to a bloody grab for power by exploiting the chaos of war. The physical climb - to the Wall's 700-foot summit - is attempted by Jon Snow (Kit Harington), girlfriend Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and other intrepid souls in the ragtag wildling army. Fear and commitment occupy the thoughts of Jon and Ygritte as they ready for the dangerous ascent. “I am your woman now, Jon Snow,” she says emphatically.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 29, 2013 | By Alan Eyerly
Teen Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) marry Tyrion "the Imp" Lannister (Peter Dinklage), a man twice her age and half her size? Incestuous Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) marry Sir Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones)? A handsome young man, surely, but one who finds knights more attractive than ladies. Who's behind this seemingly bizarre matchmaking? As we learn in Episode 25 of HBO's "Game of Thrones," it's Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance), a pragmatic tyrant motivated by power and wealth, not romantic niceties.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2013 | By Alan Eyerly
Young Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) can no longer walk. But as we see in Episode 22 (“Dark Wings, Dark Words”) of the HBO hit “Game of Thrones,” the Stark lad has the rare ability - in his “black magic dreams” - to run like a wolf or fly like a raven. Also possessing the gift of seeing through the eyes of animals is fellow “warg” Jojen Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), who joins Bran's entourage on their flight from Winterfell. Protecting Jojen with her blade and wits is older sister Meera (Ellie Kendrick)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 1, 2013 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Anyone who dismisses television viewing as a passive activity clearly hasn't watched "Game of Thrones. " HBO's crown jewel requires the sort of OCD focus and possibly the same picture-plastered, color-coded white board that Carrie Mathison used to track down Abu Nazir in Showtime's "Homeland. " As with the George R.R. Martin series from whence it sprung, "Game of Thrones" has redefined "sprawling epic. " And as Season 3 opens, the sprawl factor is perilously high, with the multitudinous characters - seven families, people, from seven kingdoms - scattered all over Westeros, their story lines progressing in an ever-climbing wall of overlapping layers, a citadel of narrative.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 15, 2011 | Mary McNamara, Television Critic
The first 10 minutes or so of HBO's new epic fantasy series "Game of Thrones" are spent celebrating the glories of cable, i.e. bloody violence (beheadings, hacked off body parts, eviscerated guts steaming in the snow) and HBO sex (female semi-frontal nudity, non-missionary position intercourse and unnecessarily graphic sound effects.) Unless you are a minor, you should not be deterred by any of this because "Game of Thrones," written and produced by David Benioff and D.B Weiss, quickly becomes a great and thundering series of political and psychological intrigue bristling with vivid characters, cross-hatched with tantalizing plotlines and seasoned with a splash of fantasy.
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