The Harbinger Online

Games of Thrones Already Exceeds Expectations

I may know what will exactly what is going to happen in the newest season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, courtesy of the summer I spent dedicated to reading the books by George R.R. Martin. Regardless, I am still hyped to watch the shows fourth season, which already shows promise after its first episode.

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At least from the beginning, all of the characters that managed to survive season three are still alive, although there may be some pieces missing. In the mythical land of Westeros, characters fight for powering and control of the country. The whole show revolves around this power struggle and its effect on the characters.

The first episode doesn’t have major action and seems to review the previous season and hook in viewers for the rest of season four. HBO covers all the different major characters and catches you up with their story. You get just enough action to keep you interested in the series but there are no major plot developments.

I may know what will exactly what is going to happen this upcoming season, courtesy of the summer I spent dedicated to reading the “Game of Thrones” books. Now, I’m not going to spoil anything but no one is ever safe and don’t trust any of the characters.

As a reader, the new season doesn’t hold quite the same mystery and excitement because there are no surprises. It does mean, however,  that for the next several weeks, my Sunday nights are filled with more than just all the homework I’ve put off. Instead I get to watch some of my favorite literary characters run around either try to kill or  have sex with one another all to be the ruler of the mythical land of Westeros.

I read all five of author George R.R. Martin’s books freshman year, because I was grounded for over a month without a phone, so I filled my summer with the over 3,000 pages of the series. I’ve always liked fantasy books because of the entertaining plot lines and easy readability. From the mature themes, complex relationships to the density of the writing the Game of Thrones books aren’t the typical once upon a time.

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There is obviously more depth to books because of the ability to fully develop characters and situations but the books are well incorporated into the show. Each 40 minute episode is produced on the same scale of a Michael Bay movie. Not only is the production value astounding for each season but follows the complex and numerous storylines of the each character. The writers and producers have an amazing  ability to condense thousand page books into 10 or so episodes. HBO also doesn’t have to comply with normal TV censorship rules, so they can, in full detail, depict all of the violence and sex present in the books.

I’m sure some people appreciate the witty dialogue, intricate character relationships, realistic politics and attention to detail, but to me, its popularity comes from the abundant use of nudity and blood. A foolproof recipe for high ratings regardless of the already stellar story. For this fourth season there will be plenty of both, the producers know what the people want.

Keeping that in mind, the new fourth season and past seasons are not for the faint of heart. This contributes to the mostly nerdy male audience when the books were first published in 1991 and the pilot episode in 2011. Through much of HBO’s publicity of the show and its growing popularity, Game of Thrones has oozed its way into some of the most unlikely circles. Even the “cool-kids” are giddy over dragons and house signals.

Even though  it’s only aired its first episode the new Season of Game of Thrones is shaping up to be a mini-heart attack every Sunday. If HBO does what they does best is to use all the blood, gore, deep character development, sex, adventure and a huge production budget to not only garner high ratings, and a massive following but the respect of book readers.

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