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The Battle Of Kings

30 Aug

Severing ties: Seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros.

A grown ups fantasy, filled to the brim with sex, gore and death, Game of Thrones is back with season 2 and I will tell you exactly why you should watch the series if you haven’t already.

When back in 1996 George RR Martin released Game of Thrones in the series, A Song of Ice and Fire, we didn’t expect a TV adaptation because it just looked impossible with an extensive storyline overflowing with political conspiracies. Exactly a year ago, HBO viewers got the chance to cross the bloodied threshold of the medieval fantasy land, the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros where the ploy to take over the Iron Throne is fought between nine long standing dynasties.

With an intense storyline like that of Game of Thrones, remaining faithful to the book seems a little tricky but when you have quality directors and excellent camerawork by Tim Van Allen and Alik Sakharov who previously made The Sopranos, you are in for a visual treat.

If you haven’t read the books nor watched the series, let us warn you, Game of Thrones is not for the weak hearted. There is incest, infanticide, murder and adultery on one side whereas starvation, corruption, and savage arenas disguised as civilised courts highlight the other side.

But beyond all of this, it is the presence of a strong cast that makes the story come to life. As most critics point out there is a lack of good Ame­r­ican actors in Hollywood. But thankfully, Game of Thrones is dominated by a British and Irish cast. Top of the lot is Sean Bean, famous for portraying Boro­mir in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Here he stars as Lord Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark, the honourable and just Lord of Winterfell.

One who stands out in his character is Peter Dinklage who plays Tyrion Lannister, a highly intelligent dwarf who is mockingly nicknamed “The Imp” and “Hal­f­man”. Dinklage outshines every actor in the series and even won an Emmy for Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe for the role in 2011. Michelle Fairley and Lena Headey shine in their roles as Catelyn Stark and Cersei Lannister.

As for the technicalities, the first season of Game of Thrones had about 700 VFX shots, almost as many as your standard motion picture. It’s not the complex type of VFX present in shows like Terra Nova, but rather plays a subtle role and is so discreet that you wouldn’t even know it was there! That would be fake blood, addition of snow to the landscapes, seamless set extensions, huge crowds and mighty battle sequ­ences. The production work is exc­ellent and the sets are fantastic. The lead studio that delivered these shots was London-based Blue Bolt, who also worked on some shots in the Sherlock Holmes movies. They were supported by Screen Scene VFX. The second season however will be delivered by Pixomondo.

There is a lot of sex and violence in Game of Thrones and the series strongly establishes a more adult tone, but isn’t too overbearing on the audience. Watch it!