Critic’s corner: May 5

Helen Sloan/HBO

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Game of Thrones 9 p.m., HBO

Yes, there are dragons and a type of zombie and people who can see through the eyes of animals on this show. But at its grimy, fantastical core it is a drama, and much of its cast does a bang-up job of making viewers invest in what happens in Westeros. In last week’s installment, perhaps no one did so more effectively than Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the normally irreverent Jaime Lannister. With the exception of justifiable critic’s favorite Peter Dinklage, this isn’t the kind of series that nets Emmy nominations for actors, but Coster-Waldau’s chilling, poignant, weary monologue about killing the “mad king” before the king could gruesomely slaughter his own people was a truly riveting piece of acting.

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