Jon Snow (Kit Harrington)

Jon Snow (Kit Harrington)

The aftermath of the attack on King’s Landing continues, and the war for Westeros is about to heat up. Welcome back to the mythical world of Game of Thrones for season three.

The Lannisters struggle to hold the Iron Throne, despite Tywin Lannister’s (Charles Dance) elevation to King’s Hand. The real hero of the battle of Blackwater Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) has all but been banished and relegated from power by his father and sister – mother to King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) – and the King is trading future wives like toys. Rob Stark (Richard Madden) seeks to mend failing alliances and battles his mother’s deception while planning revenge on the Lannisters for the death of his father. His half brother Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) has been taken prisoner by the Wildlings north of the wall as they plan to invade the seven kingdoms and claim Westeros for their own.

All the while Daenerys Targaryan (Emilia Clarke) is raising an army across the seas (along with her dragon triplets) with view to return to King’s Landing and claim what she believes to be her rightful throne. And then there’s the Zombie warriors that come with the winter that nobody have been warned about yet.

And that’s just for starters.

Returning for its third season Game of Thrones remains the gold standard for television drama – bold, enveloping and spectacular. The masterful works of George R. R. Martin are brought to incredible life with grandeur and scale rarely seen on a television show. The casting divine; the detail in the hyrda-like scripts is rewarding for the faithful (and obsessed) viewer. There is no comparison for Game of Thrones: every episode is an event of gob-smacking brilliance.

It’s myth of sword and shield combined with magic in a time long ago is entirely captivating. Game of Thrones is a demanding series for the viewer as at least three or four consecutive stories co-exist and progress in parallel across an episode so it’s no ‘popcorn’ show – it’s an investment of time that is rewarded with and engaging plot, visuals and the desire to immediately re-watch the episode that has just been consumed. Political intrigue and diplomatic affairs has never been more entertaining.

For the return of season three Foxtel are, to their credit, leading with Game of Thrones as one of their highly publicised “Express from the US” shows. Screening in Australia two hours after it airs in North America and then being delivered by a primetime repeat that evening will sate even the most voracious fan’s appetite. Given Australia’s ignomy at being declared to be the nation that most illegally downloaded Game of Thrones for season two every bit helps. If you’ve not had the chance to get into the series both seasons one and two are available as DVD sets and they’re worthy purchases to dive into and consume over a weekend.

Game of Thrones is,quite simply, must watch television that offers proof when a network like HBO risks big the product that is delivered can be far greater than expected.

Game Of Thrones S03 – Mon 1/04 3:20pm AEST (7:35pm repeat), Showcase.