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  1. It's official: Game of Thrones will be down two familiar faces when it returns for Season 5 in 2015. Actor/DJ Kristian Nairn, who plays Hodor on the HBO fantasy series, left many fans confused when he let it slip over the summer that both he and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) will be absent for all of the upcoming season. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, not only has that little nugget of information been confirmed, but we know exactly why Bran and Hodor are taking a season-long vacation: Just as many fans of the source novels expected, their characters won't appear because they've gone as far as they can at the moment. The next chapter of their story hasn't even been published yet! Executive producer and showrunner David Benioff told EW, "The fact is, even though we're making changes to the books and adapting as necessary, we're trying to keep the various storylines the same as the books and trying to keep them roughly [chronologically] parallel. And last year we caught up to the end of Bran's storyline [in the most recent book, A Dance with Dragons]. So if we pushed him forward this season, then he's way ahead of where the other characters are." "It made sense to stop where we did," Benioff continued, noting that Bran's character is now entering a period of training after having found the Three-Eyed Raven at the end of Season 4. "Rather than being stuck in a cave for a year, we figured it would be interesting to leave him out for a little bit." Of course, that's all well and good for Bran, but none of this tells me what's happening to little Rickon Stark. But no one seems to be asking that question. Anyway, are you bummed to know that the next time you see Bran on your television screen, he'll appear to be approximately 35 years old? Or are you happy that Game of Thrones' writers aren't shoehorning him in and padding his story the way they did with Theon Greyjoy's (Alfie Allen)?
  2. Game of Thrones is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows in recent memory. The show is turning everything that we expect from the genre on it’s head. Heros are slain, children are slaughtered, and sex is prevalent. The characters are exceptional and the dialogue is fantastic. Most importantly, the show has been consistent. Nearly everyone of the 38 episodes (as of today) has been incredible. It’s not surprising that this show is routinely being mentioned as one of the candidates for the greatest show of all time. The show is heralded by both fans and critics alike. Of course, Game of Thrones is far from over. The show has just been confirmed to air for two more seasons, and the producers say there will be seven seasons total. Now that you’ve witnessed the most recent episode (with one of the most shocking events in the series), you have ample time to discuss this show before the inevitable ground-breaking 9th episode of the 4th season. Here are three reasons why Game of Thrones is one of the greatest shows of all time: It Pushes the Limits Game of Thrones is definitely one of the most violent if not the most violent show of all time. Some of the deaths are truly vicious and there is constant carnage from start to finish. It seems there is hardly an episode without extreme violence. If Game of Thrones isn’t the most graphically violent show, it definitely wins the award for most sexual. It’s very common to see naked women when you are watching the show. There are many sex scenes. Some people even go as far to declare the show as “soft core porn.” The violence and sex in Game of Thrones never feels cheap. It’s not violent or sexual for no reason. They use it to illustrate the time period and world that the characters live in. They never censor the violence or sex in order to appease people who are easily offended. It’s one of the reasons that the show is so great. It’s Realistic In most shows, the hero is victorious. Sure, he or she goes through many struggles, but their efforts are rewarded in the end. This is not the case at all in Game of Thrones. As fans are all too painfully aware, the main characters of the story are not immune to death. !Spoiler Alert! An excellent example is Rob’s story. His father, Ned is cruelly slaughtered by King Joffrey. Robb Stark is horrified that his father has been killed and attempts to find revenge. In nearly every movie and TV series, Rob would be successful with his revenge. He would go through hardships, pain, and adventure, but he would be succeed eventually. Things start out looking good for Robb. He is winning battle after battle. However, instead of getting his revenge, he and his wife are brutally murdered in one of the most shocking and pivotal scenes in TV history (the red wedding). He is not the only beloved character that is slaughtered. The treatment of these characters has resulted in many tears from fans. However, it is one of the main reasons that the show is great. Other shows are predictable and usually have a happy ending. Game of Thrones, on the other hand, is more realistic. Just like real life, the world is unpredictable and often cruel. Good things happen to bad people and justice isn’t served.
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