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217 of 270 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Show, but Beware The Rains of Castamere.
When it comes to premium cable, my worlds shift as the year goes on. For thirteen weeks in the fall, I get Showtime to watch HOMELAND and one of the best new shows on cable, MASTERS OF SEX. But for the rest of the year, I go back to HBO, and while there are many other good and compelling shows on that channel, such as THE NEWSROOM, and less so, TRUE BLOOD, the main reason...
Published 9 months ago by James Donnelly

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86 of 119 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent show. Bad discs
I love this series. I read the books and the HBO series is excellent. This is the best season so far. My disappointment is with the Blu-ray discs themselves. There must be a serious manufacturing problem. The first set I got, one of the discs would not load. I returned it and the replacement they sent me had the same problem with a differnt disc. I updated my player...
Published 6 months ago by Mr.Christopher


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217 of 270 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Show, but Beware The Rains of Castamere., December 21, 2013
When it comes to premium cable, my worlds shift as the year goes on. For thirteen weeks in the fall, I get Showtime to watch HOMELAND and one of the best new shows on cable, MASTERS OF SEX. But for the rest of the year, I go back to HBO, and while there are many other good and compelling shows on that channel, such as THE NEWSROOM, and less so, TRUE BLOOD, the main reason I keep coming back is for GAME OF THRONES. And Season Three was perhaps the ultimate lesson as to why this show keeps you coming back. I've reviewed all of the seasons here, and while I found the first season a little problematic but really good overall, the second season was even better, and it just keeps improving into this season.

It's hard to distill everything that happens in this season, and all the new characters and threats that are introduced, so I'll try to distill it in what I believe are the best moments. Daenerys Targaryen meeting The Unsullied, and her trek in defiance of a "man's world" is so vital, so strong and never gets stale. Bran meeting Jojen Reed to make sense of what he's becoming as a warg starts slow but builds extremely well. Jon Snow and Ygritte's relationship and Jon's "undercover" work with Mance Rayder's men is always compelling and suspenseful. The conflict that comes to a head between the Night's Watch and Craster. The initially antagonistic relationship between Jaime and Brienne comes into sharper focus as they warm up to each other. The plight of Davos and his friendship with Stannis conflicting with the intentions of Melisandre. The wedding of Tyrion and Sansa and the rift that creates with Shae. The interminable cruelty of Joffrey, and how he keeps getting figuratively spanked by Tywin. The Brotherhood Without Banners and the firey combat between The Hound and Beric. The women of the Tyrell family, particularly Olenna. The bear pit. The end of Astapor.

And then, of course, The Red Wedding.

I know that of everything that has happened in this season, the most talked-about event is the Red Wedding, and while there are many other important things happening, the episode "The Rains of Castamere" is a horrific, tragic and emotionally devastating event that, for people who are merely fans of the show and not of George R.R. Martin's epic novels like myself, seemed to come out of nowhere, but going back, you can see it coming with hindsight. It firmly establishes the brutally pragmatic machinations of Twyin and his exploitation of the personal slights felt by Roose Bolton and Walder Frey. Although, while the twists and turns of the Lannisters prove to have the most meat on them, the heart of the season stands firmly with Daenerys. She proves to be not only a brilliant strategist, but a leader that could rule with a merciful and generous heart. The soul of the show belongs to Jon Snow, a young man so clearly over his head in a situation that will force him to question his loyalties and his oath to the Night's Watch, making him the stand-in for the audience.

As usual, everyone in the show is pretty amazing, but most surprising of all is the turn from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister. It took a while for the audience to connect with him, particularly when his first significant deed of the show was to push Bran out of a window. But this season, more layers of the onion are peeled back to show that there is much more to him than what we've seen before, which makes me very happy since his was the character that I couldn't get with at all for quite some time. Emilia Clarke continues to amaze with her performance as the Mother of Dragons, and Charles Dance totally owns you (and everyone else around him) as Tywin Lannister. Wisely, the show decided to show much more of what was going on around the kingdoms, and not to devote too much focus to the conflict between the Starks and Lannisters.

So bring on the White Walkers. Winter is coming and I'm ready.

At least, I hope I'm ready.
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148 of 184 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, pure and not so simple, December 4, 2013
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Seriously the best thing I have ever seen on television. The reason I have HBO. If you have not watched this show, please do. Start with the 1st season and watch it all. If you love to watch a tale unfold and get lost in a different world and time you will LOVE this masterpiece!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, April 26, 2014
Certainly this season was heartrenching. I did question season 2's departure from the book re Robb and his wife and now I know why. In the book, he broke his oath because of honor and in the show he broke his oath because of love - both leading to the same tragic consequence. I read an opinion piece bemoaning this change, as though the show ruined Robb's character by making his impulsivity emotional rather than about he and his father's shared tragic flaw of being too honorable for the world around them. Oh, but when it came time for the wedding sequence - one cannot deny the power of four-fold doom.

Oh, that scene, that scene! My heart broke seeing the anguish then devastation on Catelyn Stark's face - it has been seared in my mind.

As for other characters - hot dang, I can't believe I now feel sympathy for the person who pushed Bran off the tower. Can anyone evil be redeemed? What Jaime and Theon went through this season was deserved --- and yet it gives me hope that evil can be excised from a person and what is left will only be the good.
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86 of 119 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent show. Bad discs, March 10, 2014
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I love this series. I read the books and the HBO series is excellent. This is the best season so far. My disappointment is with the Blu-ray discs themselves. There must be a serious manufacturing problem. The first set I got, one of the discs would not load. I returned it and the replacement they sent me had the same problem with a differnt disc. I updated my player firmware, but that did not help. I had amazon send me a third replacement, but I did not send the second set back. I was hoping that between the two sets, I could compile a complete set of working discs. The third replacement set had 2 bad discs, one of them the same as the second set. So that is 3 bad sets that I received. I decided to go buy another box set from my local Costco, and one of those discs was bad as well!!! So with 3 different box sets in my possession at the same time, I was FINALLY able to pull out the working discs to create a complete working set. It took 4 box sets in all to get a working product.
So my advice if you want this: check all discs when you receive it. If they don't work, ask for a replacement, but choose to return by dropping off at a UPS store. Amazon gives you 30 days to drop it off. Get as many sets as you need to compile 5 working discs.
The manufacturing problems are unacceptable. I thought maybe only Amazon got a bad batch from the manufacturer, but it looks like they may all be defective anywhere you buy them. I am happy to have a working product now, but the customer should not have to go through this process to get it.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game of thrones - the complete third season dvd box review, February 19, 2014
This review is from: Game of Thrones: Season 3 (DVD)
First of all its a great show. I've read the books (book 3, on which this season was based, was absolutely superb, one of the best books I've ever read actually) but I think this would be very good indeed even if you had not read the books?

The dvd extras are very good - I particularly enjoyed the commentary of Richard Madden (Robb) & Michelle Fairly (Catelyn)'s on the Rains episode. Nice to have a few extended/deleted scenes, particularly one with Jon meeting Mance Rayder; another with Tywin meeting up with Pycelle isn't much cop, can see why they left that out; Tywin is best sparring with his son

The 15 minute video synopsis of the previous season is very VERY useful as there really is so much going on. A close watcher of the show might not remember that Bran & Rickon are presumed dead, that Littlefinger misled Catelyn into thinking BOTH her daughters were still held at Kings Landing

Actually, it might be a good idea, if you have NOT read the books to watch the previous seasons, to get you up to speed.

Nice touches: Ned being mentioned in the penultimate episode of the season. Its easy to forget how important his character was to the show, and how all the chaos unfolding is out of his unfair treatment by Joffrey back in season 1

Minor characters (like Roose Bolton, introduced in season 2) become crucial to the plot, and the attention to detail is crucial, especially if you've read the books. And that's another thing - the show is clearly done by fans of the book. There are no major changes to the book. Robb's wife gets a name change, and Arya meets with Tywin back in season 2 (as did NOT happen in the books) but theres nothing major. The author (Martin) writes for the show for an episode a season, and its clear that the show is following the book very closely. (Martin has a commentary on his Bear & the Maiden Fair also)

The casting: spot on. Mance is as you remember him from the book. Hey! I LIKE the guy

In my opinion, the book helps if you watch the show, filling everything out (as it were) so you might want to pick them up at some point

But the show is a can't miss, really. Season 3 is absolutely superb, winter is coming. Not near enough of the White Walkers as you could wish, but the threat is there. Can't wait to see season 4 and Tyrion getting a bit of his own back against his father!

(Season 4 will be based on book 3 also. Its a massive book but well worth the read. You might want to pick it up if you want to swim in it for a while!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kind of pleasantly surprised, February 19, 2014
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So I was hesitant receiving this product due to all the negative reviews regarding the Dracarys Drogon case. Had it been made of a more stone like material I would have given it 5 stars but as is it's actually really nice. I am uploading photos and the top case and the bottom stand hold together nicely and the dragon came out beautifully and well as the engravings of Dracarys and Game of Thrones. I have yet to try the discs though so I may return if they do not work. I really like the case! But to each their own. Also, note I am a bit obsessed with
game of Thrones sooo it might have biased my perception - but bottom line I do think this should be priced around 20$ lower.
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86 of 124 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Review of Limited Edition Mantel, February 19, 2014
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Hello Amazon,

Note: This review pertains only to the limited edition bonus mantel, not to the actual television series.

Amazon has certainly posted a hyped-up review of this limited edition bonus mantel, and I almost turned into the "Mad King" Aerys II Targaryen while waiting for it to arrive on my doorstep. The packaging fed into my hysteria, unfortunately, as it arrived in a ridiculously over-sized box, which contained the smaller box that housed the actual item. After ravaging the packaging with tooth and claw, I couldn't have been more disappointed with the actual mantel, which drove me into a double madness and led to the review you see before you.

Amazon informs you that the mantel is "created in durable heavy weight material," is "highly textured," and is "finished with a weathered look evoking the feel of Westeros and a bygone era." Yes, the "bygone era" of sound craftsmanship - not of Westeros. The "durable heavy weight material," while looking sleek from a great distance, is cheap plastic and not "heavy weight material" whatsoever. Although the wings of the dragon are done well, albeit extremely fragile, the dragon's face, upon closer inspection, is completely lacking in texture and rather looks like a kindergarten Play-Doh project. With my mantel, the eyes are lacking any coloring (which gives the impression that this dragon is eyeless), and there are two or thee randomly placed teeth jutting uncannily from its mouth. Even worse is the fact that the Game of Thrones logo seems hurriedly painted (and smudged) in more than one place.

If you "make room on your mantel for this one-of-a-kind packaging" a small breeze, let alone a strong wind of winter, will knock the top off of the base, as the hidden compartment which houses the complete third season has no locking mechanism for the base/mantel whatsoever.

"With a wink to fans, the back is engraved with "Dracarys", a word from the Valyrian language playing homage to wildfires and dragons." That wink is all you will receive in terms of "homage," unfortunately, unless you are a diehard collector of Game of Thrones collectibles.To be fair, it is quite difficult to justify an additional $60.00 for this mantel over the cost of the standard Blu-ray/DVD/Digital edition.

Although I highly doubt G.R.R. Martin would be pleased with this product, the best part of this limited edition is, of course, the enchanting television program. I hope this review helps fans seeking the bonus. Game on!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars HBO's compelling medieval drama has turned into a forgettable medieval soap opera, March 30, 2014
By 
Mike D (Franklin, TN) - See all my reviews
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A Game of Thrones was a brilliant book with great characters, action, and excitement. Season 1 of the show was equally brilliant.

A Clash of Kings started out slowly but crescendoed to an exhilarating climax. Season 2 of the show followed a similar arch.

I'm mystified as to how A Storm of Swords, arguably the strongest source material yet, could produce television as dull and scattered as the first two-thirds of Season 3 of 'Game of Thrones'.

Similar to Season 2, which ended with a pair of highly focused and engaging episodes, Season 3 offers up a trio of incredibly strong shows to close things out. The problem is the first 7 episodes which could have, and should have, been condensed down to 2 or 3. It's not that "nothing happens," as has been argued by the shows critics and disputed by its sycophants, just that nothing compelling happens for the first 90% of each viewing.

Ask any fan of the show to recount for you the memorable moments which occur in Season 3 and you'll undoubtedly get responses similar to the following (no spoilers):

Locke helps Jaime remember (Episode 3, 50:25)
Craster mouths off to Mormont (Episode 4, 36:29)
Dany makes a deal (Episode 4, 46:40)
Littlefinger's monologue (Episode 6, 46:15)
Jaime turns back (Episode 7, 50:08)
Sam becomes a man (Episode 8, 52:15)
Black Walder closes the doors (Episode 9, 41:56)

Ask that same person to recount anything memorable which actually occurred in the first half an episode: we've basically got the trial which opens episode 5 and the awkward ceremony that occurs 15 minutes into episode 8. The rest is oft-boring dialogue which does nothing to enhance the show's infrequent memorable moments.

Good episodic television is made up of acts which provide exposition, introduce new characters/plotlines, or advance existing plotlines. Whatever its purpose, a good act of episodic television accomplishes its goal in a compelling manner.

Soap operas are made up of numerous characters involved in many storylines, each of which is advanced only a few minutes at a time with little-to-no relation to any of the other ongoing storylines. They are trite, boring, manipulative, and formulaic.

Note to Benihoff and Weiss: Please stop producing a medieval soap opera and get back to the brilliant episodic television your series once was (also, it's OK for something interesting to happen in the first 40 minutes of an episode, and for a good episode to be placed in the first half of a season).

Unfortunately, the commentaries (my primary driver in purchasing the Blu-rays) are equally as dreadful and uninspired as the rest of this season. Allow me to summarize all 12 for you:

"These opening credits are amazing - have you noticed how they change from week-to-week?"
"Jack Gleeson is so sweet, nothing at all like Joffrey. Did you know he plans to quit acting to become a philosopher?"
"Oh, I just love (whoever is on screen at that moment) - he/she is brilliant."
"The sets are brilliant."
"The costumes are brilliant."
"This music is brilliant."
"These child actors are brilliant."
"David and Dan are brilliant."
"These scenes are just so brilliant I don't want to talk over them."
"Have you actually read the books?"
"Was this shot in Croatia or Ireland?"
"Did you know they painted the Titanic here?"
"Did I mention that Jack Gleeson wants to quit acting to become a philosopher?"

I'm not sure whether the show runners made a mistake by deciding to divide this book across 2 seasons of the show, but I am certain they are doing an absolutely dreadful job of it. This Blu-ray set is comprised of 5 episodes worth of actual content excruciatingly (and completely unnecessarily) stretched across 10 installments, complemented by a host of weak and equally boring commentary tracks. Episodes 8-10, along with sporadic scenes from 1-7, get 5 stars. The remainder of episodes 1-7 get 2 stars, and the lackluster bonus features get 2 stars. The net result is a 3 star rating, which feels generous given the massive head start provided by the source material.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Show, Horribly Designed Blu-Ray Interface, March 1, 2014
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Absolutely love the show, and there are plenty of great reviews to describe why. However, the UI for the discs is crappy. (UI = user interface)

+ When browsing a disc, it is impossible to tell what episodes are on the disc unless you try to actually play the episode. That is, every episode is listed, and you need to know which specific one you want to watch -- and that it is on the current disc.

+ Besides the top menu, fonts for navigation are small and thin. On a 32" 1080p TV at 12 feet, I can barely make out episode numbers and I can't read episode descriptions. There are no episode pictures to help.

+ It takes about 2-3 minutes to get through all the non-skippable content on a disc (WTF).

This may be seem nit-picky, but confusion caused by the first item has resulted in us watching episodes out of order (with a show that jumps around so much, it's not obvious when an episode has been missed).

+5 stars for a great show. -2 stars for a really bad disc UI that has harmed the experience. There is no excuse for this crappy of a disc interface in 2014.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The downward spiral..., May 9, 2014
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Please feel free to read my previous review on the Game of Thrones Season 1-2 boxed set for the full review experience. I'm going to just keep this short and sweet.

The books are great, as I've said in my previous review. The series is, so far, leaving a lot to be desired. While it is entertianing it's not living up to all the hype for me.

The characters are not really following or breaking completely away from their stories in the books. Some characters are completely missing (Strong Belwas being the most notable in the third season). All of Dany's handmaidens are dead in the TV series. In the books they are her most loyal and trusted advisors. As such I'm a bit shocked and very sad that the seris is breaking so far away from the books. The third season is the worst about this so far. The Red Lady shows up in Westeros to visit Thoris of Mir and Barrick Dundarian which never happened in the books and as such makes zero sense in the series. It's becoming almost a bit absurd.

I really hope the show can pull together and redeem itself.
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