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10 Random Thoughts About “Game Of Thrones” Season 1

June 20, 2011

  • Hoorah for an adaptation that didn’t have me seething with nerdrage over casting. With few exceptions, every actor and actress were amazing in their roles, bringing to life the essence of each character. A few that stood out for me: Sean Bean as Ned Stark, of course — it was like the man was born for the role. Mark Addy showed that everyone underestimated him as “just a comedy actor” with his performance as Robert Baratheon. Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, who makes whoring and drinking look charming. Maisie Williams made me alternate between being stupefied by her sword fighting skills to wanting to hug her for being so cute. And as much as I wanted to dunk Joffrey’s head repeatedly in a dung pile, they couldn’t have chosen a better or more evil looking kid than Jack Gleeson.
  • The Song of Ice and Fire series involves multiple storylines and enough characters to fill a small village. One of the first concerns about this show was whether or not they could pull this off without confusing the hell out of the people who haven’t read the books. For the most part, however, I think they did a great job with presenting the whole story, keeping a tight grip on it as best as they could. HBO successfully made each plotline distinct enough so you were never too lost.
  • There were still some things they could have made clearer. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted until my friend who hadn’t read the books asked me for clarification on a few things — like why Jaime Lannister being called “Kingslayer” was such a big deal, not just because he killed the old king but because of who and what he was as a White Cloak. And the direwolves certainly did not get enough screentime! When Ghost finally appeared again with Jon at Castle Black, even I was a little taken aback.
  • I still wonder about the pacing. There were definitely parts that felt a little off to me, like a couple of the middle episodes that were more about world and history building, versus actually having anything happen. In contrast, the last three episodes were crammed to the brim. It’s never boring, but it did seem like the final episodes had to cover more than half the book.
  • Game of Thrones had all the elements of an HBO show in spades — blood, sex, violence, sex, power, sex, humor, but also honor and strength.
  • Beautiful sets, costumes, props, etc. What stood out for me: 1) Their depiction of The Eyrie and its sky cells. I wasn’t disappointed (unless you count how I wanted to see even more). Certain things were even better than the book — like the stunning and ginormous wooden throne (cooler than even the Iron one!) and their version of the Moon Door. 2) The Wall and the men of the Night’s Watch. 3) Littlefinger’s wardrobe. Damn, the man looks good even in black silks and embroidered roses.
  • Made by the same people who did the titles for other HBO shows like Rome and Carnivale, the opening sequence deserves some love. I wasn’t crazy about it at first, but the more I watched the more it grew on me, despite — or perhaps because of — the fact that it’s not very “fantasy-ish” at all. I also love how it the map changes, reflecting new locales as they are introduced or visited by the characters in later episodes. What a fun and interesting concept. The awesome opening theme music pretty much guarantees I’ll be all over the Game of Thrones soundtrack too when it comes out.
  • Satisfied with how loyal the show stayed to the original source. Understandable how there were a few liberties taken and a couple new spins, but there weren’t too many instances where they outright changed the characters or the outcomes of an event. I wouldn’t have wanted it to adhere exactly to the books anyway, and I’m not one to pick the details to death, plus ultimately I felt that most of whatever they added or trimmed away served to enhance rather than impair the story.
  • Even though I knew what and when things were coming, I was still shocked when they happened. It’s amazing how emotionally affected I was; there were times where I just sat there wondering if all of it actually happened.
  • Can’t wait for Season 2, Spring 2012.

11 comments

  1. It’s great! I like it more than Rome, as I did not really connect with any character in Rome. You have a valid point, for people that don’t know the series some things should have been made a lot clearer.

    I think the character ROS was probably meant and invented to do that, to deliver background information and fillers. For those who did not read the books, Ros does not exist in them at all. I just don’t understand why they needed sometimes sleazy fillers. The “Slurp-slurp” between Renly and Loras was maybe necessary to make it clear that they are a couple – some people honestly claim to have read the books and to NOT have noticed that.

    But Ros had sex with Theon, Pycelle, another whore in Lord Baelish’s quarters and I wonder if Stannis and Euron are safe from her. As if A Song of Ice and Fire was too low on incest, sex, violence etc.

    Too bad that Sean Bean, Mark Addy and Jason Momoa are dead! They were great, but thinking about it the whole cast was great, even Catelyn despite me imagining Catelyn and Lysa rather as Jennifer Ehle and Renee Zellweger than Michelle Fairley and Kate Dickie.

    I would have to list the entire cast, they did an exceptional job. I also liked how Lancel & Robert and Tyrion & Bronn became dramatic pairs.

    Looking forward to Season 2. Maybe the series will make it till “Storm of Swords”, after that it probably becomes by far too convoluted and slow. But maybe it is a chance to rectify the super slow and boring pace the books got after Storm of Swords. Feast for Crows isn’t nearly as good as the first books, and Dance with Dragons is said to be very similar in pacing.


    • I know it’s HBO, but I did feel that some of the sex scenes were way overdone and gratuitous. Honestly, that whole scene in Littlefinger’s quarters, I bet there were quite a few who missed everything he said in his little speech about the “woman he loves”. :P

      This season was 10 episodes, which was kinda short even by HBO standards. An extra two eps might have helped the pacing and with explaining things.


  2. [...] Gamer Chick has posted her 10 Random Thoughts About “Game of Thrones” Season 1.  Instead of replying there what would undoubtedly be something I would also want to post here, [...]


  3. Loved it. I think HBO did about as good of a job as Martin could have hoped for in translating his work to film. The wait to Spring 2012 is going to kill me. KILL ME I SAY! Long live House Stark!


    • Considering the complex storyline and the gazillion players, yeah I’d say it was the best we all could have hoped for :P


  4. I’ve been stuck with watching the small snippets posted on the HBO site. I don’t have an HBO subscription, but I contemplated it watching the making-of videos and other scenes from the show. I’ve often wondered if the books were too grim for a TV audience and also wondered that they started this before the series was finished. If it gives the author some impetus to finish them though, I’ll be really glad.


    • The books are definitely grim, but I guess this makes HBO the perfect network to pick it up. I’d also wondered if the show would put pressure on Martin to finish the series; after all, the show probably made him even more fans and sooner or later they’re all going to start wondering how everything ends too. And if the show ever becomes successful enough that the seasons actually catch up with the books…


  5. I really enjoyed the acting, the sets, and the general feel that was brought to the series. I, too, was concerned when it came to the amount of information and background detail they were able to squeeze on to the screen, but it seems much of what was missing had been made available along the way on HBO’s website.

    My questions to anyone who watched the series without having read the book: Did you use the resources on the site to learn more about the history and families? If you did, do you think it added to your understanding and/or enjoyment of the episodes? If you did not, did you feel you were lost and lacking context at any points in the series?

    Two changes that were made have me wondering why. Both involve animals. First, why did they not make Ghost silent? Second, where was the Old Bear’s “corn! corn!” companion?


    • I have a friend who hasn’t read the books, and for the first few weeks or so he was very confused. Every Sunday after the show we would message each other and I would answer any of his questions, because there was quite a few things he didn’t get. The hardest part for him was remembering the names and knowing how each person was connected to each other (especially Theon Greyjoy, that one was kinda hard to explain), so when I found those family tree pages on the HBO website, I directed him to them. After that he stopped having to ask me as many questions, so I would definitely say they helped.

      I wondered that about Mormont’s raven too. I loved that old bird in the books…


  6. I have really enjoyed the series. I tried reading the first book several years ago, but just couldn’t get into it and now that I have discovered how much political intrigue there is, I’m kind of glad I didn’t because those types of books tend to bore me. However, that is not the case with watching the series. HBO is the perfect outlet for such a story considering they didn’t completely butcher the Charlene Harris books a.k.a True Blood.

    I’m really looking forward to learning more in season 2.


    • I’ve read the first book of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series. I’d wondered if it was anything like the show, but yeah, people have told me as the seasons when on it strayed further and further away. I hope to continue with that series one day though.



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