The Remote: ‘Game of Thrones’ is epic in proportion to most TV

Ryan Pait

After months of waiting and some rigorous promotion, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” finally returned on Sunday.

I’ll admit that I’m somewhat of a late bloomer when it comes to this show. I read the first book and then watched the first season, and then fell behind and didn’t watch season two.

Over the past few weeks, however, I rapidly re-watched season one and caught up all the way through season two to prepare for season three’s premiere.

And boy, am I glad that I caught up.

“Game of Thrones” is unlike any other show on television.

It’s absolutely colossal in scale, intricate in its many plots and it has one of the largest casts of any TV show currently on the air — the only show that may rival it is PBS’s “Downton Abbey.”

If other shows operate like games of chess, “Game of Thrones” is a chess tournament.

Sunday’s premiere only checked in with about half of the show’s massive cast.

While it’s somewhat disappointing not to check in with some of my favorite characters, this is also one of the show’s greatest strengths.

Rather than checking in for minuscule amounts of time each episode, the characters and screen time they get are doled out judiciously and appropriately.

The season three premiere played out much like season one and two’s premieres: a little languid in pace, but it’s obvious that there’s some major buildup happening and foundations being laid for the forthcoming episodes.

At Slaver’s Bay, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Jorah (Iain Glen) gained a powerful and familiar new ally.

Beyond the Wall, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) made a vow to the Wildlings and the King-Beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder (new cast member Ciarán Hinds). Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) survives an encounter with the White Walkers and rejoins the Night’s Watch.

In King’s Landing, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) received an interesting offer from Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen), while King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and his bride-to-be Margaery (Natalie Dormer) grew closer. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Cersei (Lena Headey) dealt with their harsh and unyielding father Tywin (Charles Dance). Tyrion and Tywin’s heartbreaking scene was, without a doubt, the premiere’s strongest.

Elsewhere, Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) and Melisandre (Carice van Houten) recoup from their defeat at Blackwater Bay, while Robb (Richard Madden) and his mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) return to Winterfell to find it in ruins.

Also featured in the episode were zombies, a giant, a sliced-off nipple, a poisonous scorpion and a child assassin. What other show can boast of elements like that?

I’m guessing episode two will largely follow the premiere’s pattern and check in with the characters not seen in episode one.

What’s most exciting is what will come after episodes two and three. With the foundations firmly laid, the fun can truly begin.

And it’ll surely be in a way that only “Game of Thrones” can deliver.

For those that are uncertain about giving the show a shot, do it. It’s worth it. For WKU students that live on campus, we get HBO for free.

Take advantage of it. Watch this show.

There’s no better time than now, and judging from the premiere, season three is going to be truly epic in every sense of the word.