Warning: This review contains mild spoilers for “Game of Thrones”
It’s a surprise to me that it’s taken our desk this long to cover “Game of Thrones,” considering the series’ massive following and famous twists and turns. To put it mildly, there’s nothing that this show doesn’t have. From romance to gore to the mystical, there’s something for everyone. I’ll have to admit, I was against getting into this show because of all of the hype surrounding it. When I finally caved and binge-watched all of the available seasons, I realized what all the fuss was about. “Game of Thrones” is absolutely wild — and this is exactly why you should watch it.
In my opinion, most (but not all) of the best TV shows are based on book series. “Game of Thrones” is no exception to this. The show is based on the fantasy book series “Song of Fire and Ice” by George R.R. Martin, and the title for the TV show was taken from the first book. When HBO initially announced the first ten-episode season in 2011, longtime fans of the series were excited but also wary. It’s a rare occurrence when a film adaptation of a book series is accurate and captures all of the magic that words do. Fans were not disappointed though, and soon the series was renewed. Perhaps this can be attributed to Martin’s hands-on approach in helping to create the show. HBO went to great lengths to make sure this series was created as accurately as possible, going as far as inviting a number of fans to be critics and give them input.
Don’t be fooled, though. This show is more about its characters than it is about the fantasy elements. To sum it up without giving away too much: the show revolves around three main families, or houses: the Targaryens, the Starks and the Lannisters. The Lannisters are the ruling family, but they’re a little closer together than they need to be. The Starks are almost everybody’s favorite characters — but be warned, they’re the ones who suffer the most. The Targaryens are the outliers of the story, but they’re also the hardest fighters. All three of these main families fight for the throne after an initial conflict, all while they try to avoid the “White Walkers” and the wintertime where they thrive. The first season ends with one of the main characters getting killed (quite graphically) and sending everything else into chaos. Each character in this story has a major stake or something worth fighting for, even the ones that you’ll end up hating. The fantasy elements are almost secondary at times because the characters are so well done and captivating.
The show is cutthroat and it ceaselessly keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. It’s not afraid to make the choices to kill off a certain character or depict things which aren’t shown in regular TV shows. You grow attached to a character, watch them grow and develop through all the hardships they face, only for them to be killed off. Simply put, it’s brutal. Which is exactly why it’s so bingeable.
To Binge or Not to Binge?
Once you get through the first season of the show, it’s hard to resist the urge to binge. The first season itself has so many mind-blowing moments, you won’t even know when it’s over. The reason I deem the show as bingeable is exactly due to these moments and the characters who drive them. “Game of Thrones” isn’t just any other show. It’s one in which you easily get invested in because the characters are so wicked, kind or both. The final season of this show is set to air in April 2019, so get to binge-ing so you can be caught up. The characters who remain alive up until now are promising and fan favorites, so there’s sure to be lots of show-stopping moments.
Best Episode: Season 4, Episode 2 “The Lion and the Rose”
Similar Shows: “Thronecast,” “Westworld” and “True Blood”
Trigger Warnings: “Game of Thrones” has a lot of trigger warnings. There’s violence, nudity, sexual assault, blood, gore and graphic scenes in the series. It’s safe to say that watching this show when there are no kids are around is the best idea.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
“Game of Thrones”
Available to stream only on HBO
67 episodes. It would take two days, 15 hours and 30 minutes to binge watch all of the episodes.