One left us wanting more. The other left many of its followers feeling that they'd had enough. You could hardly have asked for a more marked contrast in the approach to a season finale than this weekend's first-season climaxes of HBO's magnificent Game of Thrones and AMC's flawed though often fascinating The Killing.
[Note: I'm catching up after an extended family-reunion getaway weekend that didn't lend itself to keeping up with TV, Twitter and all the rest. Summer can be like that.]
Having read the initial trilogy of...
Emmy voting is down to the wire! Over the week, voters will be checking off names and shows they think are worthy of getting a nomination come July 14. We here at TVGuide.com have a few picks in mind ourselves. Next up: our dream ballot for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama:
In its first-season finale, Game of Thrones tied up its loose ends as well as a sprawling fantasy epic could be expected to. More importantly, it left us wanting more by introducing us to Daenerys Targaryen's little ... friends. We bid our spoiler-filled goodbyes below.
TVGuide.com's Hanh Nguyen is an avid scripted-TV watcher, a horror-avoider and someone who's read George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series, on which HBO's Game of Thrones is based. Colleague Rich Juzwiak rarely watches scripted television, is a gorehound and became alerted to Martin's existence just recently, as he started researching this new swords-and-sandals (well, boots) series. He knows nothing of these sorcerers (if that is indeed what they are), while Hanh is something of an expert (read: fantasy/sci-fi nerd). Each week, he'll try to make sense of this crazy new show by enlisting Hanh's expertise. It may turn out to be a test of tolerance: in this case, the Games begin after the TV is off...
Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella
Alyssa Campanella of California is the newly crowned Miss USA, beating out her "best friend," Ashley Elizabeth Durham of Tennessee.
Campanella calls herself as "a huge history geek," explaining: "I'm obsessed with the Stuart and Tudor era. .... Whenever I go to Barnes & Noble, I'm always in the history section and that is where you will find me." She also said she likes to watch The Tudors as well as Game of Thrones and Camelot.
The first season of Game of Thrones came to a fiery conclusion, and although we lost a major player in the game, another was reborn, phoenixlike, from the ashes of a funeral pyre.
[Spoilers! If you have yet to watch Episode 10, "Fire and Blood," shame on you! Oh, and don't read further.]
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) might be the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, but reclaiming it seemed like a remote possibility until...
Emilia Clarke, Iain Glen
Emilia Clarke might play a warrior princess with platinum blonde hair on Game of Thrones, but fans who approach her often want to talk about her on-screen husband instead.
"Normally the comments are not about me at all, but, 'My goodness, your husband is big!'" she tells TVGuide.com. We can't blame them. As the delicately beautiful Daenerys Targaryen, Clarke is a sharp contrast to Jason Momoa, the 6-foot-5 actor who plays the eyeliner-wearing, bare-chested Dothraki warlord, Khal Drogo.
Kyle Chandler and Michael B. Jordan
Friday Night Lights (Friday, 9/8c, NBC)
[Reprinted from last Friday, when this episode was pre-empted by the hockey finals; sorry for the confusion] Someone needs an attitude adjustment — and that someone is star player Vince (Michael B. Jordan), caught in a tug of war over his future between his arrogant ex-con dad and well-meaning Coach Taylor, who threatens to bench Vince if he can't be more of a team player. Meanwhile, coach's wife Tami has her hands full with problem student Epyck and their daughter Julie runs off to Chicago for a rendezvous with one of coach's most beloved former protégés.
Inception (Saturday, 8/7c, HBO)
Last summer's hit "life is but a dream" brain-teaser arrives on pay cable, a perfect opportunity to...
Jason Momoa, Lena Headey, Sean Bean
It's been a bloody and arduous journey, but the Game of Thrones cast has emerged from their first season unscathed, although we can't say the same for the characters they played.
Going into the finale Sunday (9/8c on HBO), the actors reflect on how difficult it is living in the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. So TVGuide.com asked them to weigh in on two very important Westerosi subjects:
1. What personal sigil would best represent you?
2. If you ascended to the Iron Throne in modern times, what would your first ruling as king or queen be?
Michael Weatherly, Sean Bean, Nathan Fillion
Every week, editors Adam Bryant and Natalie Abrams satisfy your need for TV scoop. Please send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who did Tony see in the photograph in the NCIS finale? Please tell me they're not going to break up the team! — Melanie
ADAM: Executive producer Gary Glasberg gives us a hint. "It will be someone that we recognize," he says, adding we'll get that answer in the season premiere. We'll also get some serious intel on that microchip that E.J. found in her co-worker's arm. New theory: These mysteries are totally connected, right?
I can't believe Game of Thrones killed off Ned Stark! Please console me with scoop. — Mark
NATALIE: Does this help? Although Ned Stark was beheaded on the Sept of Baelor, it's not...
Sean Bean, whose character had an encounter with a blade on this week's Game of Thrones, was stabbed in a fight over the woman he was with, according to the Daily Mail.