Three more reviews to add to the pile. First up, is Mo Ryan for The Huffington Post:
The version of “Game of Thrones” that executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have created is a meditation on power and its slippery attractions, and perhaps power itself is the lead character in their take on the story — it’s often the entity receiving the most in-depth characterization. In this tale, power and loyalty are locked in a hypnotic dance of betrayal, compassion and confusion. Martin created — and the HBO show has brought to vivid life — a set of memorable outsiders who are doing their utmost to storm various bastions of power and privilege, and even their losses are fascinating. I can’t look away.
Next is Alan Sepinwall for HitFix:
Both Martin and “Game of Thrones” are playing a longer game than that. There are characters like Daenerys and Jon Snow who are thousands of miles away from the central action in the Westeros capital of King’s Landing, and their stories seem like they’ll take a long while before directly impacting what Tyrion and his nasty relatives are up to. Several characters spent all of last season seemingly just traveling from Point A to Point B on a map. It’s all very clearly leading somewhere, but in many ways “Game of Thrones” requires more patience than its predecessors, and the fractured storytelling makes it harder to invest in what’s happening on the way to the big payoffs. We’re very rarely in any locale, with any group of characters, long enough for each story to have the emotional resonance that the material deserves.
Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter has nothing but praise for the show:
And in keeping with the no-spoiler rule, all that really needs to be said about Season 3 is that the first four hours are immensely enjoyable and leave you, at the end of each, pleading like a junkie for the next six. This, of course, is the curse of Thrones’ finest achievement and it does have one unfortunate side effect for the individual episodes: this sprawling story being told in only 10 episode, doles out in an hour only precious morsels of plot from a variety of characters and clans, then abruptly switches to the next character or clan and so on. The end result is, despite the brilliant quality, a bubbling frustration for more, more, more.
And the New York Times, as usual, seems confounded by the show and its popularity, despite enlisting a self-proclaimed fantasy fan to review it this year.
As this popular adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” novels returns on Sunday night, it falls into an already familiar pattern. Tiny bursts of action are separated by wide expanses of conversation — veritable kingdoms of explication during which medieval spreadsheets of plot, history, geography and family lineage are explained in the mellow tones of stage-trained European actors. Presumably the balance will slowly shift toward action as the plot builds, over the course of 10 episodes, to some climactic mass bloodletting, in this case involving those who were hot on Sam’s heels.
Winter Is Coming: To be honest, I’m less interested or concerned with reviews this season. The show is a hit. I love it. Lots of others do as well. That’s all that matters.