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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ug, the waiting 'Game' (again)

The day after the of the season finale of "Game of Thrones" has become one of the saddest of the year.

As I did last year on this dark day, I'm wondering how I'll possibly survive without HBO's epic fantasy drama series for another nine or 10 months. Seriously, it took FOREVER for the second season arrived April 1 after the first ended on June 20.

Sure, I'll watch it through at least one more time, picking up little aspects to the story that I didn't get the first time. And I'll send weird, likely annoying text messages to my band of GOT friends with quotes from the show and jokes about it. (Sorry in advance, guys.)

While I can't argue that it's the best drama on TV -- an honor that belongs to one of two AMC shows, "Breaking Bad" or "Mad Men" -- it is my favorite. HBO's adaptation of author George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels is spectacular and addictive.

(If you have not yet watched the finale, go no further. For spoilers lie beyond the wall.)

Much as last year's finale did, Sunday night's "Valar Morghulis" seemed as interested in setting up future story lines as it did in wrapping up current ones. Much should be different for the newly married "King of the North" Robb Stark (Richard Madden); the no-longer-soon-to-marry Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner); her suddenly free and mobile sister, Arya (Maisie Williams); the yanked-from-power, fan-favorite drawf Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage); the further disgraced Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen); and the increasingly powerful "Mother of Dragons" Daenerys Targaryen, who's babies showed the ability to generate some fire.

If there was a character who served as the backbone
of the just-concluded second season of HBO's "Game of Thrones,"
it had to be "the imp," Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage).

Other things haven't changed, King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) is still a little ... jerk. (Yeah, let's go with jerk.) And his mother, CerseiLannister (Lena Headey), continues to wield power behind him.

I could go on and on; there are lots of players in this game of thrones and nearly as many story lines.

In truth, this season was the slightest of letdowns, the second helping not being quite as tasty as the first. My feeling is that the show hasn't ever totally recovered from the shocking execution of central figure Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) late in the first season. (I'm saying it was a bad movie, as Martin showed you he's not afraid to wipe out any character at any time, which is great for dramatic tension.)

Even if it isn't quite as good as it was, "Game of Thrones" is still better than almost everything else.

Thankfully, there will be a third season, although I've yet to see a premiere date. While the first two seasons adapted the first two books in Martin's series, "A Game of Thrones" and "A Clash of Kings," the third season is to be adapted roughly from the first half of the third book, "A Storm of Swords." (Fans were disappointed HBO didn't also already commit to a fourth season, as the folks making the show said the third book would require two seasons to do right.)

Well, it can't come soon enough. With another season of "Mad Men" -- a terrific season, at that -- about to end, I will eagerly await the beginning of the final two-part season of "Breaking Bad" on July 15.

But ultimately I simply must wait. I know how this game is played.

-- Mark Meszoros | | @nhfeatures

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