Game of Thrones is the newest series from the warm nest that is HBO. This tv network has a couple of great series already and can add another one to its list with a Game of Thrones. Even though the first season had only 10 episodes it has become wildly popular and a second season has been announced. I know I’m a bit late reviewing this, but the show hasn’t aired in my country yet and I prefer to watch it in HD so I waited for a while. So I finally watched it a week ago, and here are my impressions.
Game of Thrones is based on the books ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R.R. Martin. The first season revolves around the first book in this epic series. The story takes place in Westeros, a land that consists of 7 kingdoms where the 7 noble families vie for control. During the series the story focuses on one or more of these families.
The current king (portrayed by Mark Addy) is feeling threatened and seeks the support of his old friend Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark (portrayed by Sean Bean). Ned Stark follows his king to King’s Landing, the capital, to serve as ‘Hand of the King’ which is a sort of advisor/regent position.
In the meantime, quite a few events are afoot. The children of the last king of the ‘Targaryen dynasty’, Viserys and Daenerys, are trying to take back the land they feel belongs to them. The wife of Ned Stark has her hands full in the north of Westeros and Ned Starks bastard, Jon Snow, decides to become a ranger and protect ‘The Wall’ (a gigantic wall that separates the kingdom from a whole lot of bad shit). On top of all that, the queen and her twin brother keep a secret and conspire against the king and his loyal followers such as Ned Stark.
In summary, enough material to fill a couple of seasons.
The atmosphere of the series is excellent I must say. A lot of time has been spent on costume design and it shows. Same for the set pieces. The fantasy element is obviously quite dominant but the CGI is brilliant as well. Even the intro has seen a lot of work! On top of that I really like the distinct accents that each of the actors have. Few things are crushing immersion as much as a bunch of Americans running around screaming (no offence).
The casting has been done quite good as well. Sean Bean as Eddard Stark is simply amazing. Bean has quite the resumé already (He’s Boromir in LOTR) and he feels quite at home in the Game of Thrones setting. Mark Addy (Robin Hood) and Lena Heady (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) deserve an honorable mention as King Robert and his bitch queen, respectively. Peter Dinklage portrays the dwarf brother of the queen, Tyrion, and he does a marvellous job. He also seems like the only sane person of the entire Lannister family.
Personally, I didn’t know the books before I saw the series and I see the series from a whole different point of view, no doubt. There are some references to places and names that mean nothing to me (yet) but I’m sure that those of you who read the books know quite well. Don’t worry, I fully intend to read ALL the books!
The first few episodes might feel a bit overwhelming if you’re just entering the world of George R.R. Martin, but the pace slows down a little bit in the later episodes.
Finally, I like that the makers don’t shy away from blood, violence and sex (which is there in abundance) and that the writer of the books doesn’t hesitate to kill off characters (you’ll know it when you see it, blew my mind really)
In short, Game of Thrones promises to have a great run on HBO. Don’t miss it!