A couple of days ago I asked, after binging seasons one and two of Game of Thrones, at what point does the show actually start getting to be a good show and I got many responses with most being that it was good from day one and I’m wasting my time. Well after binging through season 3 yesterday and today I have my answer which is that the show only starts getting good at season 3.
First lets talk about some of the issues. The show still has some issues with Sansa who, while initially being reduced in screen time and becoming a stronger character, once again becomes ‘oh my sweet prince’ fangirl over Loras and then becomes all crying again when that inevitably falls through. I also couldn’t really give two shites about Samwell as a character. While he’s a nice guy and all he’s just too simple and lucky with how everything goes for him and really should’ve been killed long ago by now on this show.
It also still suffers with ‘look how edgy I am’ sadism with the introduction of Ramsey ‘look how evil I am’ Bolton who spends the season trying to be scary but just laughable in how shite it’s done. The only part of his thing that stands out is the bog standard ‘pretty girls come to prepare the subject’ routine that Martin himself wrote (which further makes me think he’s really quite weird in the head and obsessed with sadism) which is so old even Red Dwarf took the piss out of it in the 90s.
Other than those two problems I have to say the show is remarkably improved. Daenerys’ plotline finally has a purpose with her moving forward at pace, taking two cities in a single season, and building up her army to take back Westeros.
Also the new characters and some of the older ones are actually given more understandable personalities compared to older episodes, with Joffrey’s previous use as the sadist king being replaced with a petty child routine (apart from the scene where he crossbows the advisor) with acts such as him removing Tyrion’s steps to reach Sansa’s neck better suited to the character. The Tyrell’s are probably the standout new characters of this season with Margaery already setting herself up as a skilled user of courtly intrigue while Olenna quickly becoming a favourite character of mine due to her personality of being able to play the Game but also at the same time fed up with the pomp that comes with it.
The new Wildling characters are interesting but their screentime was small compared to others so it was hard to get a bearing on them.
The tone of the show is much more balanced as well, with the previously high levels of ‘grimdark’ balanced out by a lot more humour, such as the childish chair moving scene at the Small Council and the season running gag of Pod’s performance in bed. This definitely gives darker scenes more of an impact but also makes the show feel less like the ‘watching to be annoyed’ plot the previous two seasons had (and Walking Dead has turned into).
Overall basically as some others were wondering the show doesn’t really seem to kick off till season 3 and you’ll have to slog through the previous 20 hours to get there but whether it’s worth it or not is a different question as apparently both seasons 4 and 5 suffer from major issues.