By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 10, 2012 at 1:18PM
As "Game of Throne" watchers scratch their heads and reach for explanations of who's who, HBO has renewed the popular fantasy epic for a third season. Season Two of the series based on George R.R. Martin's bestsellers premiered April 1 to record ratings for the series--the first episode has already grossed 8.3 million viewers and is on track to pass season one's average of 9.3 million viewers. Of HBO's ongoing series, only HBO's "True Blood" has earned higher ratings.
"Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season – and then surpassed them,” said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. “We can’t wait to see what Dan and David have in store for next season.”
Part of the epic series' appeal is its densely populated fantasy world, Westeros. But having seen the first three episodes, I am not alone in being confused by the sprawling players in rival fiefdoms ready to fight for control of this world. I'm watching screeners every week with three pretty sharp friends; we are relying on the one person who has read the books to explain what the hell is going on. We hang for dear life on the already established characters--among them Emmy-winning Peter Dinklage (profiled in the NYT magazine), wicked Lena Headey, sexy Iain Glen and up-and-coming Kit Harington--who are fine. It's all the new ones added to the mix that have us perplexed.
I'm sorry but one of the central tenets of modern drama is that you should understand who is who and what's going on. I followed the first season easily without having cracked a volume. Now I am utterly lost.
Hopefully the team behind "Game of Thrones" -- executive producers David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger, co-executive producers George R.R. Martin, Vanessa Taylor, Alan Taylor, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, and producer Bernadette Caulfield-- will attempt to keep things straight. I understand that even Martin himself relies on an expert who keeps elaborate flow charts.