TV Check-In: Game of Thrones Season 6

by Matthew Thompson

I was disappointed with Season 5 of Game of Thrones. It wasn’t bad, but it did not live up to my lofty expectations for the series. My anticipation of this newest season was somewhat muted as a result, but I’m happy to say it has served as a nice rebound for the show. At times things felt rushed this year as various players in the game were given a quick demise or sent hurtling at high speeds to their destinations, but ultimately I just love where all the pieces fell into place. I really like where everything is at heading into the final stretch Continue reading

TV Check-In: Game of Thrones Season 6 (Episodes 1 and 2)

by Matthew Thompson

Game of Thrones got off to a tepid start with last week’s premiere episode, “The Red Woman,” but its second outing “Home” was very good and has me excited for what comes next. I thought after this more eventful episode I would check in with the season so far Continue reading

Game of Thrones “Mother’s Mercy” Review

by Matthew Thompson

(Since we are more or less caught up to the books, I speculate about what will happen next a bit more than usual in this review. Rest assured it is only about stuff where I don’t know what happens next and I am only basing the speculation on things that have happened in the show.)

Game of Thrones had a lot to cover in this year’s finale. After “The Dance of Dragons,” I was left wondering what they’d be able to get done before the season wrapped up. I thought “Mother’s Mercy” got a surprising amount accomplished and largely left things in a good spot going into next season Continue reading

Game of Thrones “The Dance of Dragons” Review

by Matthew Thompson

Daznak’s Pit was the moment I was waiting for this season. My first reaction upon seeing it was that it didn’t quite live up to the scene I’d watched play out in my imagination for years now. That is still probably true even after thinking on it for a couple of days, but it isn’t really a knock against the show. This was a tough one to portray visually and I think the end result is still an exciting and important sequence that capped another good outing for Game of Thrones Continue reading

Game of Thrones “Hardhome” Review

by Matthew Thompson

Everyone will be talking about the last fifteen minutes of “Hardhome” this week and rightfully so. It was spectacular to behold visually and thrilling to watch unfold while managing to make important strides in setting up what will be a large part of the show’s endgame. Yet just about every scene that preceded this climactic sequence worked as well. The result is easily the best episode of Game of Thrones’ fifth season Continue reading

Game of Thrones “The Gift” Review

by Matthew Thompson

Last week I had reached my breaking point with two storylines that I have found to be problematic all season and the result was my least favorite episode of the show in some time. I gave the showrunners some (I feel) much deserved flack for these moves. This episode didn’t really change my opinion on either of those plotlines, but I am happy to be able to praise another change that sat better with me this week Continue reading

Game of Thrones “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” Review

by Matthew Thompson

I expected we were headed for this episode’s ending for a few weeks now, but was hoping against hope that maybe someone would intervene before we got here. The result is one of two major problems plaguing this week’s installment of Game of Thrones that leave me questioning the showrunners in the aftermath Continue reading

Game of Thrones “Kill the Boy” Review

by Matthew Thompson

“Kill the Boy” is bookended by some scenes in Essos, but the meat of this episode focuses on the happenings in the Northern parts of Westeros. Despite covering multiple storylines in each region, it feels like we just cover two main plots this week because of the obvious interconnectedness of things in each area. This gives the episode a very focused feeling, something I love to see in a Game of Thrones episode Continue reading

Game of Thrones “Sons of the Harpy” Review

by Matthew Thompson

My favorite parts of “Sons of the Harpy” are not the big action sequences that pepper the hour, but smaller, quieter moments. I didn’t expect to be so moved by a scene featuring Stannis and Shireen, but I was. We see a loving side of the cold leader as he recounts the efforts he went through to save his daughter from her greyscale affliction. This continues the trend of strong scenes for Stannis this season. I’ve always thought he was one of the less well-adapted characters in the show, so I applaud their efforts towards righting that ship this year. He has been excellent so far in Season 5 Continue reading

Game of Thrones “High Sparrow” Review

by Matthew Thompson

I think the most intriguing aspect of “High Sparrow” is the collision course it is setting up for all the Northern storylines. For a couple of weeks, I’ve wondered aloud where Sansa and Littlefinger were headed. My guess was they’d get entangled in the Northern plots. Not that I deserve much credit for this prediction, where else could they be going besides off on their own in the Riverlands somewhere? It was just the most logical conclusion. Brienne and Pod follow behind sure to get mixed up in all of this too. Adding an extra layer to Brienne’s journey is the conversation she has with Pod this episode. It’s a strong scene that sheds light on her history with Renly and reiterates her lust for revenge against Stannis Continue reading