WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

TV Series Review

It's good to be the king ... or is it queen?

Turns out, sitting on the Iron Throne of Westeros isn’t so much good as it is a good way to end up dead.

HBO’s tumultuous eight-season run of Game of Thrones is now officially, and somewhat literally, in the books. While original author George R.R. Martin is still laboring away on volume six of his Song of Fire and Ice series, the HBO series finished with someone putting a massive tome titled A Song of Fire and Ice in front of Westeros’ new Hand (sort of the realm’s version of Secretary of State).

Given that this Game will now be replaying on streaming platforms and eventually DVD and, who knows, perhaps in Martin’s final books once they come about, let’s not give away any plot points here. Rather, let’s simply acknowledge that the fight for the Iron Throne was as chaotic a scramble for power as we’ve ever seen on TV.

Lots of people wanted to sit on the Iron Throne during the show’s run. How many, exactly? As Queen Cersei Lannister once said, "I've lost count." Battles and wars and occasional spats of peace were followed by more wars. And it seemed as though everyone with a castle or a fleet of ships wanted in on the action. The game in Game of Thrones was as brutal a contest as you can imagine.

Don’t Go Westeros, Young Man

Claimants included several members of the Lannister family. They're rich, powerful and ruthless. Two of Cersei's children briefly held power before their untimely, disturbing demises. Their legitimacy was perhaps questionable, considering they were products of Cersei's incestuous relationship with brother Jaime. Cersei herself took the throne in the wake of their deaths, finally claiming the power she so craved.

But even as the number of claimants was winnowed down over the years, the Lannisters still had their challengers. There was Daenerys Targaryen, a beautiful descendent of Westeros' last usurped dynasty, who just happened to have a few dragons (this fantasy world's version of nuclear missiles) at her command. Children of the house of Winterhold, the Lannisters’ great rivals, continued to (as unlikely as it seems) draw breath. Tyrion, Cersei's brilliant (if conniving) brother, switched allegiances as often as he filled his wine goblet. And as the show wound down, it seemed that the once lowly Jon Snow held the best hereditary claim on the throne of anyone.

A Storm of Content

Game of Thrones has been the most ballyhooed show from the premium cable channel since The Sopranos and perhaps the most widely acclaimed treatment of a fantasy epic since Peter Jackson's Academy Award-winning Lord of the Rings saga. It has also been a ratings smash for HBO. The Season 8 premiere was watched by at least 17.4 million people when it initially aired. The finale was reportedly a record-breaker for the premium network, pulling in 19.3 million viewers domestically. Some estimate that worldwide viewership might have topped 100 million viewers. And that figure doesn't even count the myriad people likely pirating the show: Game of Thrones is regularly listed as the world's most illegally downloaded series, too.

Some say, in this age of niche television and fragmented audiences, that Game of Thrones is the last great watercooler show—a program that it seemed like everyone was watching and wanted to talk about.

But as is the case with the show itself, appearances can be deceiving—and dangerous.

Thrones, despite its liberal use of crowns and swordplay and gruff characters with beards, has been far from a Tolkienesque fantasy boasting noble protagonists fighting for higher purposes. HBO's show has consistently delivered a gritty, dirty, cynical study of sex, politics and familial intrigue—where all truly is fair in love and war, and where the most honorable character (Ned Stark) was beheaded in the very first season.

Around the Iron Throne, honor is relative. In a land in which a nobleman marries his own daughters and leaves his newborn sons as a sort of sacrifice in the woods … a land in which kings demand deadly gladiator bouts to celebrate their "naming day" … a land in which brothel owners "gently" threaten to sell prostitutes to sadistic customers if those women don't behave, folks who merely cheat, scheme and sleep around seem almost decent by comparison.

Game of Thrones has given viewers the occasional honorable gesture or innocent action or even theological rumination. But for all its laurels, this series has always had its eyes firmly focused on the bestial in us, not the angelic. Politics are brutish. Men are savage. And women are, very often, treated as naked, sexually subservient chattel (belying the fact that as the series winds to a close, it's clear the show's most powerful characters are, in fact, women).

Even mainstream critics have long lambasted the show for its often vile treatment of women, regularly chiding it for its "sexposition"—that is, the habit of having characters recite loads of important-but-otherwise-boring dialogue in the beds of a brothel. And, frankly, most hard-R movies don't get as close to flat-out pornography as this series does.

So it would seem that we already know who rules this land: Violence and sex reign as king and queen, while graphic language and a hyper-cynical worldview squabble for scraps around the table.

Is it good to be the king? I don't even want to be in this kingdom.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

May 19, 2019: "The Iron Throne"
April 14, 2019: "Nothing Lasts"
Game of Thrones: Aug. 27, 2017 "The Dragon and the Wolf"
Game of Thrones: July 16, 2017 "Dragonstone"
Game of Thrones: May 1, 2016 "Home"
Game of Thrones: April 12, 2015
Game of Thrones: April 13, 2014
Game of Thrones: March 31, 2013
Game of Thrones: April 8, 2012
Game of Thrones: April 1, 2012
April 28, 2019: "The Long Night"

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister; Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen; Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont; Maisie Williams as Arya Stark; Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy; Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister; Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon; Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark; Aidan Gillen as Petyr Baelish; Kit Harington as Jon Snow; Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark; Ron Donachie as Ser Rodrik Cassel; Julian Glover as Grand Maester Pycelle; Amrita Acharia as Irri; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister; Richard Madden as Robb Stark; Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark; Stephen Dillane as King Stannis Baratheon; Carice van Houten as Melisandre; Liam Cunningham as Ser Davos Seaworth

Director

Distributor

Network

HBO

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Released

On Video

Year Published

Awards

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!