TV Review: GAME OF THRONES Season Three Episode 5, 'Kissed by Fire'

Based on the popular book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” by George R.R. Martin, the hit Emmy®-winning fantasy series chronicles an epic struggle for power in a vast and violent fantasy kingdom and airs exclusively on HBO. The next episode of Game of Thrones airs Sunday, May 5th.

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Game of Thrones is an HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy novel series "A Song of Ice and Fire". Set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime, Game of Thrones chronicles the violent dynastic struggles among the kingdom's seven noble families for control of the Iron Throne; as the series opens, additional threats from the snow and ice covered region north of Westeros and from the eastern continent across a narrow sea are simultaneously beginning to rise.

As Robb Stark and his northern army continue the war against the Lannisters, Tyrion arrives in King's Landing to counsel Joffrey and temper the young king's excesses. On the island of Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon plots an invasion to claim his late brother's throne, allying himself with the fiery Melisandre, a strange priestess of a stranger god. Across the sea, Daenerys, her three young dragons and khalasar trek through the Red Waste in search of allies, or water. In the North, Bran presides over a threadbare Winterfell, while beyond the Wall, Jon Snow and the Night's Watch must shelter with a devious wildling.

Season 3, Episode 5

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'Kissed by Fire' opens with one of my favorite moments (and fights) from George R.R. Martin's novels. The hound has been sentenced to trial by combat and must fight Lord Beric to the death. So that he does, in one of the most intense and dramatic scenes yet for Game of Thrones.

Major Spoilers Ahead:

Watching the fear wash over Sandor Clegane's scarred face as Beric's fiery sword comes crashing down upon him swing after swing was terrific. We all know the Hound's phobia of flames so the fact that Beric's weapon of choice happens to be a sword glistening with fire makes this battle all the more memorable. How many guessed the outcome of The Hound killing Beric so swiftly with that brutal chop? Probably a significant amount considering the Hound's versatility so far, but I'd love to see the look on every nonbook reader's face when Beric is healed by Thoros and essentially rises from the dead…Again.

The conversation between Beric and Arya about how many times he's died was a great dialog but the scene stealer this week comes courtesy of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's monologue as Jamie Lannister revealing the truth of why he killed the mad king, earning his nickname 'Kingslayer'. While Jamie sits in that hot-tub with Brienne, pouring out his heart and soul, it's one of the finest moments of dialog this series has been graced with. If you hadn't already begun to sympathize with Jamie, then this moment just might have changed your mind. That scene epitomizes what this series is all about. There are no heroes or villains -- only survivors.

Elsewhere Tyrion winds up getting some of the most shocking news yet this season and perhaps ever as his father tells him that he'll wind up marrying Sansa Stark. So there's always 'that' bit of soap opera fun. Not to mention Tywin informs his daughter Cersei that she will wed Loras Tyrell. Yes – that is the gay knight who just finished boning some random manwhore from Littlefinger's stock. Nice way to end the episode. A quiet ending compared to last week's dragon conquest, but nice nevertheless.

Robb Stark has his strongest scenes yet this season as he beheads a traitor within his ranks and effectively screws up the politics within his army. I really enjoyed how they used the same music from Theon's season two beheading sequence. It was a nice touch showing the differences between these 'brothers' and not only 'how' they perform their executions but 'why' they perform them. It only gets darker from here out folks.

4-5 Stars

Based on the popular book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” by George R.R. Martin, the hit Emmy®-winning fantasy series Game of Thrones chronicles an epic struggle for power in a vast and violent fantasy kingdom. Among the returning members of the ensemble cast are Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emmy® winner Peter Dinklage, Ciaran Hinds, Tobias Menzies, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey, Kit Harington, Stephen Dillane, Carice van Houten, Liam Cunningham, Natalie Dormer, Gwendoline Christie, Tom Wlaschiha, Alfie Allen and Gemma Whelan. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss executive produce.