The show has covered the first two books now. Let’s see how it handles A Storm of Swords! Just ignore the fact that they won’t cover how that book ends until the start of season 4. Which is… kind of awkward. But they make it work.
The War of Five Kings rages on. Stannis Baratheon is left licking his wounds after the Battle of the Blackwater, Renly Baratheon is dead, Rob Stark’s mistakes start to stack up, the Greyjoys continue to attack the north, and Joffrey Lannister’s grip on the Iron Throne is becoming tighter with his upcoming marriage to Margaery Tyrell. Across the sea, Daenerys Targaryen begins to build her army and conquer the land, striking the chains off of every slave. All the while, a battle wages in the north as the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings prepare for war. But with the ever approaching Winter, do the people of Westeros have time for such war?
Yeah, there’s a lot. Surprising, I know. It’s almost like it’s Game of Thrones.
Luckily, this season has some of the best plotlines up to this point in the series. Jaime’s journey with Brienne is still my favorite plot in the series. Jon’s journey with the Wildlings north of the Wall is a fantastic exploration of the more magical side of the world, with the introduction of giants and wargs. Tyrion’s struggle to maintain control and power as his father asserts his command is awesome. Daenerys conquering the east bit by bit and freeing slaves is always a good time (and Barristan Selmy comes back!) There are plenty of great plotlines to keep you going from episode to episode.
Not all of them are winners, though. The first half of Arya’s plot is pretty meh, only getting interesting when she and the Hound go off together. Sansa’s entire plot only has one interesting scene, that being her marriage to Tyrion. Tywin isn’t a main character and doesn’t get the screen time he deserves (which is all of it).
Thankfully, the dialogue is as strong as ever. Hell, I’d argue that it’s better than ever! Especially thanks to the performances, which are at an all-time high here! These actors legitimately carry the show on their backs!
Especially in the later seasons, but that’s a topic for later.
Presentation wise, season three is on par with season two. The sets and costumes are as incredible as ever, bringing the settings from the book to life with as much accuracy as possible. The CGI still isn’t incredible, but it’s passable. The ice zombies, dragons and the direwolves still look good and they’re still just about the only use of it in the series.
I’d say I liked season three a bit more than season two. It’s not much of an upgrade, but it is an upgrade nonetheless. It still holds up to this day and it probably will for years to come.
Now, we are one step closer to ruin…