TV Review: ‘Game of Thrones’ returns to Season 7
It has been more than a year since the end of the previous season of “Game of Thrones.” This is a program with many characters and a lot of activities. how about it? Our TV critic has a comment.
(SOUNDBITE for TV shows, “THRONES games”)
MAISIE WILLIAMS: (As Arya Stark) When people ask you what happened here, tell them to come to House Frey in winter.
DAVID GREENE, moderator:
Oh, yes, winter is coming, NPR TV critic Eric Deggans is also talking about the “power game” last night. This is the premiere of the HBO Sword and Sandals Legend Season 7. Eric, good morning.
ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Good morning.
GREENE: Let’s get started?
Degans: We should start. We should start with a turbulence alarm…
De Ggans: … let people know that we will talk about this episode that happened on Sunday night.
GREENE: Ok, accept the alert. So what happened?
Degans: Well, I think this is a great episode. You know, we’re TV commentators – we’re talking about this concept called desktop settings, they have to position a lot of different characters in order to get them in the right place so that the drama really unfolds when the season really starts. And the “game of power” must do this every season. And I think they did a good job in this episode. It started with the character we heard at the beginning, killing the whole room with poison (laughter)
GREENE: Oh, very good.
DEGGANS: Then we – yes, then we found the evil Lannister brothers and sisters who controlled the Iron Throne. Then we have Stark kids who focus on Lannisters because they killed their father. We also have the mother of the dragon, and also the design of the Iron Throne. They are all planning. They even pulled a pop singer Ed Sheeran as a singing infantry.
GREENE: (Laughter) That’s great.
DEGGANS: So you have to like it.
GREENE: I like it very much.
GREENE: Ok. So all these table settings – this is the reason for the end of the first episode, should we start?
De Ggans: That’s right.
DEGGANS: Yes, this is very interesting. So they have 13 episodes and they will complete the series. They decided to divide them into two halves. So we will get 7 this year and we will get 6 next year. This makes sense because it is HBO’s most popular show. This is a way to extend the farewell and keep it for nearly a full year. It gives them time to build another HBO show to reach this popularity or find a new show to reach that popularity.
Ginny: I have to be frank. I am watching “Law of Law and Order SVU”, this is a replay, last night during this period (Laughter). I feel terrible.
Degans: Yes. What are we going to do with you, man?
GREENE: But, I mean, for those who like “power games,” I mean, it has a lot of hype. Have a party. I looked at it on Instagram and saw photos of them.
Degans: Don’t you feel a little missing?
GREENE: Does it still live up to it? It’s completely gone, yes.
Degans: (Laughter) Well, this is the thing. You know, I know there are some people there – Sam Sanders, I am talking to you – they think there is too much hype on the “game of power”. But either you get it or you don’t. You know, either you like these beach sandals or you don’t like it. And there are a lot of background stories, so it’s hard to jump into the show right now – even if you hear all these hype, you’ll read all of these things to try and speed you up.
But I think the episode on Sunday is very concentrated. Storytelling is very stressful. We have some feelings of comedy. Do you know that we have a lot of hunch? There is really a feeling that these producers have figured out how to tell the story. The stories they tell go beyond its foundation. They really know what they are doing and they are working hard for the outcome they really have in their crosshairs. This is an epic film production. I mean, in a sense, they are making a TV version of the “Lord of the Rings.” I really like it.
GREENE: Epic filmmaking, but they often touch on larger themes.
DeGgans: Yes, the idea is, is heroism a weakness, or is it something high? We will see this game during the season. Are you getting better because of your conscience, or are you weakened by one? When the show airs, look for that theme.
Degans: I am doing my job (laughs).
Green: Thank you, Eric.
Degans: Thank you.
GREENE: Ok. That is NPR TV critic Eric Deggans talking about “the game of power”. Obviously, some of you watched it there last night.