HBO’s fantasy drama Game of Thrones returns tonight and fans of the show will be expectantly glued to their television screens to see its continuation. Game of Thrones, an adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s bestselling epic series of novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, has become a worldwide hit, with its distinctive characters and gritty motifs capturing the imagination of millions of viewers. The first two series have received universal acclaim, and the show has garnered a large and loyal fan base.
The third season of the show picks up immediately after the end of season two and follows a multitude of different characters in different places. One of the attractions of the show is its huge scale, filmed in various locations from Malta to Northern Ireland and it’s impressive that its creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have managed to capture the size of Martin’s world. The diversity and complexity of the author’s characters are reflected in the television programme and in terms of casting for season 3, I am looking forward to seeing Ciarán Hinds’ (There Will Be Blood, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) portrayal of Mance Rayder, the self proclaimed “King-beyond-the-wall”, who will have a big part to play in Jon Snow’s season 3 storyline. Another actor to look out for is Iwan Rheon (Misfits) cast in the mysterious role of “Boy”; readers of the books may be able to guess which character this is likely to be.
The third season of Game of Thrones is based on the third book in Martin’s series, A Storm of Swords, which is in my opinion the best book so far; if the thrill and shocks of the book are translated well onto the screen, fans will have a lot to look forward to. The final episode of season 2 left me feeling a little underwhelmed, perhaps because it focused on the fallout of the fantastic penultimate episode “Blackwater”, written by Martin himself. So what is in store for our various characters in season 3? Will Jon Snow make it back to the safety of the wall? Will Robb and Catelyn Stark be able to free Sansa Stark from the clutches of the worryingly sadistic Joffrey? Will Tyrion finally start getting the respect he deserves? And will Daenerys ever stop being arrogant and stupid? These are a few of the endless questions that arise from Game of Thrones and which make it so enthralling.
Speaking as someone who has read George R.R. Martin’s books, this new series of Game of Thrones has the potential to be the best yet, whether it can live up to the high expectations levelled on it from the impressive first two series remains to be seen, but if it can, and its fan base and ratings continue to grow, Game of Thrones could become the best show on television.
Game of Thrones returns to Sky Atlantic tonight at 9pm