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ODU Filmmaker: It’s Acceptable to Binge-watch Game of Thrones

By Noell Saunders

"Game of Thrones" leaves its fans in suspense after every episode. From unexpected battles to characters dying off and ferocious confrontations, the fantasy drama is one of the hottest shows on TV right now.

"It's a captivating story. It's engaging and it's not predictable," said David Mallin, an assistant professor with Old Dominion University's Communication and Theatre Arts. "Game of Thrones" makes no bones about getting rid of main characters you love or characters who have big roles in a season or multiple seasons."

"Game of Thrones" began as the book series, "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R.R. Martin that launched into an international sensation.

"It maintains its level of intensity in a way that very few TV shows do nowadays. Fans can expect to be hit with something new and exciting every week," Mallin said.

The show, now in its' seventh season, takes place in a world that's not geographically or culturally distinctive to the United States, which broadens audience appeal. HBO also spends a ton of money on the series — beyond what most other networks can afford and as a result, it's visually breathtaking.

Mallin, who's also the director of Old Dominion's film program, said the high budget show's production value is simply fascinating and there's a reason why the show has received 38 Emmy Awards, more than any other primetime scripted television series.

"The visual effects, the complex characters, the costumes, the locations; everything comes together. Every episode is like watching a feature film and of course, the acting is phenomenal," he said. "You can't have any type of film production that holds merit if it doesn't have those elements and Game of Thrones has it."

Mallin added that for someone like himself who enjoys films both as an audience member and a filmmaker, it's interesting to watch how the production crew puts the show together.

"I've re-watched five seasons just to think about how they chose to adapt material. They did a lot of condensing," he said. "They take events that happened in multiple chapters in the book and combine them into one event. They also took characters in the book and merged them into a single character in the show. The whole thing just keeps you on your toes."

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