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article imageOp-Ed: Why we love talking about the second season of Game of Thrones

By David Silverberg     Mar 31, 2012 in Entertainment
The second season of Game of Thrones debuts on HBO Sunday night, and there's good reason why TV critics are in a frothing frenzy about this medieval fantasy drama: the characters are so well-rounded the show can't help but make for compelling television.
Having devoured the first season of Game of Thrones within four days, I'm one of many journalists happily writing about my new favourite TV obsession. Why? Consider the taut tension found in this TV series based on the George R. R. Martin's novels A Song of Ice and Fire: lords and wannabe kings battle to take the throne of a fictional land called Westeros, complete with knights, dwarves, dragons and back-stabbers (literally). It's a power grab easily comparable to any modern-day war to rule over people.
It's familiar territory for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien or David Eddings, but to bring this kind of fiction to the screen was incredibly complex (even the opening credits must've taken more time than some short films). We see sword fights and brothel cleavage; we witness bloody beheadings and eye-cringing funeral pyres. It isn't just appealing to our adolescent desires for ultra-violence and nudity, as the Globe & Mail's John Doyle suggests. Rather, Game of Thrones has enough drama packed into its action to keep us hooked and eagerly anticipating season two beginning this Sunday.
In the first season, you heavily invest in the characters, thanks to sharp writing teaching you about their dreams, nightmares and everything in between. You care what happens to them, a lure I easily fell into with Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead in the past two years as well. With Game of Thrones, the characters are so rounded, yet also mysterious, you are hungry to find out more about them, even if you have to wait months to glean more info.
For GOT fans, we'll be wondering about the fate of the bastard Jon Snow, now a member of the Night's Watch and desperate to join his brother in a fight against another royal house. We'll be closely following the storyline of Tyrion (played by Peter Dinklage) the diminutive lord lusting over women and always one step of his enemies who only want to twist his neck. We'll see a major character change in Khaleesi, the child bride now turned matriarch to a trio of tiny dragons hatched after she burned the body of her late husband. Will magic and dragons play a more prominent role in season two? Will Khaleesi gain new allies in her quest for...what, exactly? The motives of many characters are sometimes clear-cut, but for some many questions remain.
I watched the DVD extras for season one and learned how thorough the producers became when constructing this fictional landscape, right down to the details on armour and the construction of foreign languages. It's that kind of complexity that gave Middle Earth its compelling nature, so much so we saw Lord of the Rings sway a new generation to fall in love with fantasy fiction. I expect the same for Game of Thrones; and I look forward to seeing where this excellent show progresses as armies of fan tune in this year.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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