2. Game of Thrones
Like its network companion Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones also had its best season to date in 2013. And not just because of the shocking and emotional events that took place during the excellent penultimate episode, "The Rains of Castamere." Don't get me wrong, the now infamous installment deserves mention in any piece about the fantasy, especially ones arguing why GoT should be included in any best of the year discussions. You hear that, Golden Globes!?! Despite the snub, Season 3 of HBO's drama delivered some of the most compelling characters and gripping storylines on the small screen on top of exploring important themes in a beautifully rendered imaginary world. While many may come for the admittedly awesome action and special effects (dragons and direwolves are rad), it's the morality play at the heart of GoT that makes the series so emotionally affecting and elevates it above the standard fantasy fare.

George R.R. Martin's world of political intrigue and warring houses is populated with deeply felt relationships and complex characters, ones that force the audience to constantly re-evaluate their opinions and allegiances. The aforementioned 'Red Wedding' (deservedly) stands out as the season's centerpiece and yet, many other the other threads were equally as powerful, especially those as thematically rich (and downright entertaining) as Daenerys' rise or Jamie's fall. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau gave what I think is the year's best supporting performance with his cast members not far behind. Find an ensemble better than Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey, Charles Dance, Maisie Williams, Liam Cunningham, Natalie Dormer, Jack Gleeson, Diana Rigg... get the point? I could go on but I'll leave it at this: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ Game of Thrones was the best drama of the year. (So what does that leave?)

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