Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Game of Thrones - Wall Street Journal: The Games People Play

Source: The Wall Street Journal [follow link for complete article]

Game of Thrones 3


March 23, 2012

"Game of Thrones," HBO's gorgeous and hypnotic fantasy series from the novels by George R.R. Martin, takes place in the proverbial olden days, when dragons had faded into myth but men still fought with swords, women wore long gowns and capes, and life was often nasty, brutish and short. Brush past those details, though, and it is a tale still unfolding today, with the quest for political power in uncertain times, when every person must choose whom to trust, and war or other ominous stirrings echo from faraway lands.

There is even climate change. "Winter Is Coming" is the theme for the series' second season. Literally, it refers to a weather cycle in the story's world, which historically has meant years of uninterrupted summer followed inevitably by years of snow, bitter cold and unabating darkness. But a metaphorical chill is already in the air. As the season opens, the Kingdom of Westeros is racked by conflict. Themes of love, lust, honor, betrayal and intrigue, plus just enough magic and exotic creatures to expand our humdrum mental horizons, whirl through every episode. Yet a sense of doom, of worse to come, hangs over it all...

... For those among us who instinctively recoil at the sight of leather jerkins, cut throats and castle keeps, "Games" may take some getting used to. But the cinematography, like the cast of largely British and Irish actors, is magnificent. Each week the story unfolds like a tapestry, its intricate stitches slowly creating not just a scene but a whole world. It's a world to get lost in, but not always easy to endure. Because the good die as often as the bad, and happy endings are only for fairy tales...

Game of Thrones season two premieres Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 9/8C on HBO.

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