DVD: Game of Thrones (18)
Friday 02 March 2012
What in hell's teeth did we watch before HBO came along? Its latest is this saucy medieval fantasy drama, based on George R R Martin's bestselling novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, and while it may not be in quite the same league as The Sopranos or Boardwalk Empire, it's still considerably more gripping than your average British drama.
Sean Bean, an actor who improves with age and increased girth, plays the straight-arrow, straight-talking Lord Eddard Stark, patriarch of a noble family from "The North". He is loyal to his bloated, sozzled king, Robert (Mark Addy), and is the father to five wildly different children – the most empathetic being his "bastard son" Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his feisty young daughter, Arya (Maisie Williams). When his youngest son, Bran, is thrown from a castle window by the dastardly Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Lord Stark has a power struggle on his hands with the perfectly appalling Lannister family (which include Lena Headey's deliciously poisonous Queen). Even if you're not particularly au fait (I'm not) with Martin's books and his Seven Kingdoms of Westeros setting, there's still plenty to enjoy here; most notably Peter Dinklage as a smart, droll dwarf and Harry Lloyd's deranged Viserys Targaryen, who is hell-bent on reclaiming the throne. Plus, the production values, as always with HBO, are of the very highest order. The winter is coming...
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food