• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 17, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
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Universal acclaim- based on 2496 Ratings

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  1. Dec 20, 2011
    i am so hooked on this show it really well done, hbo has really out done its self and i hope it does well and continues to make me want to watch more. the actor{s roles have been devloping quite nicly in a way that prompts mistery.
  2. Apr 26, 2011
    From all apects i found the show a breath of fresh air, with is no holds barred approach and decent acting i really look forward to its progression and seeing how it can continue to push the envolope and hopefully make the other networks work to have some shows that arent do it yourself renovation, cooking, celebrity crap, talk shows or the how hum CSI/COP/oh its a mystery that will go no where show, such as LOST.

    Well done keep the season moving.
  3. Apr 19, 2011
    Attempting to create A Song of Fire and Ice into a successful television show was an impossible task for two reasons. Not only is it an adaptation of a novel, but it's an adaptation of a -fantasy- novel. As the creators of Legend of the Seeker or almost every high fantasy film ever can tell you, it's incredibly difficult to attract an audience to the genre. However, as tends to be the case with HBO, the creators have managed to pull it off. Breathtaking scenery brings Westeros to life in ways I never could have imagined. The characters, perfectly cast, are just as endearing, charming, and terrifyingly deceptive as they are in the novels. This truly is the "Lord of the Rings" of television, and a perfect placeholder for whatever portion of your heart misses Peter Jackson's epic trilogy. Expand
  4. May 10, 2011
    Condensing GRRM's HUGE books into a doable HBO series, while also providing enough time for character development was a daunting task to say the least, but so far the characters are shining and I'm extremely impressed and excited. Well done, HBO. So very excited for this show!
  5. Dec 27, 2011
    I haven't read the books (yet), but this series really intrigued me. Plot, characters and their development are all top notch. Best fantasy show I ever watched...
  6. Mar 11, 2012
    I entered this unaware of George R.R. Martin or the series. I've exited a huge fan. As a middle of the road, sort-of armchair fantasy fan I wasn't sure when I first heard about this series, maybe it would be too much fantasy, too far from life. Now, maybe that's a good thing. Maybe, that's what it's meant to be, but I never like fantasy that went too far from life. Luckily for me, it's not like that. Luckily, it's from HBO; a network who's shows have always dealt with reality. I may be a bad fan of fantasy. I may be doing it wrong, I probably am, but if this show had been purely dragons and such things I would surely have exited the show early; disappointed. But the real-life aspects have kept me enthralled, kept me relating to certain characters. It isn't up to The Wire in levels of realism, but it's the closest a show like this could get. Great acting, great writing and exactly what I wanted. Thanks George for writing, thanks HBO for adapting. Expand
  7. Apr 18, 2011
    I must say, it's turning out to be a good spring for TV drama: first "The Borgias," then "The Killing," now "Game of Thrones," all evidence that the medium hasn't entirely disappeared beneath the mire of "reality" or the treacle of pseudo-celebrity *ss-kissing. First edited history, then neo-noir, now medieval-inflected fantasy, all well-cast, intelligently written, powerfully filmed, and brilliantly acted. Of the three, "Game of Thrones" seems to have the most characters and storylines onscreen, even after just the pilot and a few on-demand clips. Unlike some viewers, I did not find the pilot confusing (and, no, I haven't read the novel on which the series is based). Watching it a second time, I picked up a few bits of backstory that I missed the first time through, nothing too important. In fact, I think the series does an astonishing job of establishing and differentiating dozens of characters, conveying a keen sense of place (4 times), and setting up essential conflicts, without making us feel as though we're choking on exposition like the fat king chokes on swan. Yes, there's a "Tudors"-meets-"Spartacus" obsession with bare breasts, chiseled torsos, and just-severed heads dribbling blood (and more rear entry than in a whole season of "Wild Kingdom"), but there's also extremely imaginative design--not just of sets and costumes but of whole cultures, including at least one language. And the cast? I loved Sean Bean's under-utilized Odysseus from "Troy" and have been waiting ever since for him to get a good meaty lead, so I'm thrilled by his weary warlord, Eddard Stark. I can't tell yet about most of the others--there were just too many--though a few stood out. Peter Dinklage has won well-deserved kudos as Tyrion Lannister, the outsider best able to understand the bitter dynastic politics of his age--and to enjoy himself in spite of them. I was also quite impressed with Harry Lloyd, who plays Viserys Targaryen, the deposed heir obsessed with regaining his crown and prepared to barter his sister for the chance. Creepy but with just the right sense of entitlement. I'm looking forward to Sunday nights for the next few months, and I hope that I have enough company to persuade the networks to keep up the excellent work! Expand
  8. Jul 17, 2011
    i've never been a fan of this type of tv series or movies...but this one got me hooked pretty much in the first 3 episodes. the show didnt really waste any time for the stories to progress. its not all drama, you sense something is coming, and just when you thought the story would be somewhat predictable, it took a turn... for the better though.... it is one of the most entertaining show on tv.
  9. May 26, 2011
    This is the only show on TV that I go out of my way to watch. Sex, violence, humor, fantasy, romance.. this show has it all wrapped around a good story. The acting is top notch, as are the sets and everything else you'd expect from HBO.
  10. Jun 9, 2012
    Game of Thrones is fantastic and a premium HBO triumph. The series drowns in its lore, in a good way, so that when each episode is over you'll be crying for more. From the stellar cast, the gorgeous imagery, to the fantastic soundtrack and the clinching story Game of Thrones triumphs in every possible way imaginable. Highly Recommended for Lord Of The Rings and Skyrim fans!
  11. Jun 14, 2011
    This show is amazing. I hardly ever watch tv shows but this is pretty good. Know why? Because it's pretty much an almost 1:1 rendition the book, which was a super fun and interesting read. It's really fun to see the video version of the book millions read years ago.
  12. May 22, 2011
    I haven't read the G.R.R. Martin books yet, but I definitely will now after watching the five episodes released so far. Excellent acting, engaging characters, darkly intriguing story, beautiful locations and sets with a somber gothic atmosphere. The soundtrack also does an awesome job of complimenting the tone without being a distraction. All in all awesome production values. I will be buying the entire collection on dvd when it comes out. Expand
  13. Apr 16, 2013
    Game of Thrones provides that Lord of the Rings epic with superb storylines and acting. In its first season, it's hard to imagine how this show could go wrong. Sean Bean is fantastic as always, as are many of the other actors cast in this sure-hit series. It's not geared for the younger crowd in any way, which is why you'll find this only on HBO, but if you can stomach the mature content you'll be in for quite an experience. This may be the best thing on TV right now. Expand
  14. May 25, 2011
    My initial reaction was 'meh'. After 2 and a bit episodes, I'm totally sold on GoT and am helplessly gripped after 6. This is the finest fantasy since Lord of the Rings to make its way onto film. Excellent.
  15. Oct 2, 2011
    Easily one of the best series ever created!!! The critics who don't give this show at least 90% should not be critics because they suck!!!Awesome awesome series!!!
  16. Jun 1, 2011
    I've seen the first seven episodes of Game of Thrones and I can safely say that it's the most entertaining series on television at the moment. Nudity aside, GoT is well constructed - from the sets/atmosphere, to the costumes/cast, it's a beautiful piece of television. I have not read the books so I cannot attest to how well the show parallels them, but I've wholly enjoyed watching. The most notable (and best acted) characters are the dwarf, the dude from lord of the rings, and the little girl who wants to learn swordplay. Check this show out if you have any inclination towards medievil fantasy. It's a good one. Expand
  17. Apr 21, 2011
    Having not read the books, I was thoroughly surprised by the series and found myself enjoying it so far immensely. The show is good because the original author retains control, a "realistic" element runs strong and the backgrounds and extras are adequately fleshed out. Can't wait for more.
  18. Apr 19, 2011
    Looked incredible. Very strong cast and an excellent translation from book to screen. A lot of information to take in but it was handled well. The shocking end of the first episode left me desperate to see the next, and all my fears over how good they could make this adaptation have been put aside.
  19. Aug 16, 2011
    Best Show On Television Period. Amazing character development, action sequences, and story. A must watch for everyone. I can't wait for Season 2 to start.
  20. May 12, 2011
    Great series, only started reading the books after seeing the first episode, my only complaint, is it can sometimes be liberal with certain background stories ie changing what characters said and what character said what, but i understand some things have to be changed to fit the medium, hopefully they can keep it up to its current standard.
  21. Jul 20, 2012
    Thrones is the fantasy epic to end all fantasy epics in my opinion. The world they'e created is so believable, as are the characters and their political wranglings that you'll be sucked into this universe for the duration of each episode. It's gritty, dark, brutally violent and very reminiscent of our own dark ages. That's why Thrones appeals to such a large target audience. Alhough it IS fantasy, dragons warlocks, zombies, etc, it doesn't bludgeon you with the nerdiness. My friend hates fantasy, Lord of The Rings drove him nuts, but he loves this as he says it's very realistic in terms of the ways things were. The action is awesome, the acting is perfect, the dialouge is spot on - just all-round brilliance really. If every TV series were like this we'd be laughing. Expand
  22. May 15, 2012
    I was close to finishing book 1 when a friend lent me this and I caved in, watching the first 4 episodes back-to-back. It is very good and they so far they have managed to capture the book down to fine details with a cast that is almost universally perfect. So if you are a fan of the books I'd say so far, so good. If you've not read the books I recommend you do so first then come back and see HBO bring them to life Expand
  23. May 6, 2013
    BEST MEDIEVAL FANTASY TV SHOW FOR ME only complain from me that they release only 10 episodes every year...They could had add way more episodes and expand the story based on the books of Martin
  24. Dec 28, 2011
    overall its pretty spectacular and everybody looks AND plays the part beautifully. the best character easily Peter Dinklage as the short yet powerful Tyrion Lannister. Though a bit inappropriate for anyone younger than 16 it shines as one of the best new shows of the year.
  25. Jun 20, 2011
    Some of these negative 0 score reviews are hilarious, who watches an entire season of something if they think it's crap. Either they're masochists or have some vendetta against the show, which is pretty good by the way.
  26. Apr 22, 2011
    So far, so good--honestly, it's a relief. The showrunners have really translated the books well (with both the book's strengths and weaknesses) and aside from a few casting decisions, I'm beyond satisfied so far. Hopefully i can say the same after this first season ends!
  27. Sep 16, 2013
    Magnificent. I never read the books, so the story was quite amazing to me, and the twists and turns caught me completely off guard. What is very great about the story is how fully realized the complex world is, and how the different plot lines intertwine together into one massive saga that surely still has much to offer in the coming seasons. I read that there are 7 novels in total. Will be exciting to see how they are played out. Another great thing about the story, is how it relates to many historical elements in medieval Europe. Yet the story feels original. Overall, it is a beautifully crafted TV show that is definitely worth checking out. Expand
  28. May 26, 2011
    Absolutely great. A breath of fresh air in the worn-out Disney-fied Fantasy-Genre. This is Fantasy for Grown-Ups! Understandaby a bit slow in the first few Episodes, after all, everything needs to be explained, and there's a lot to explain. But it starts picking up pace from Episode 5.
  29. Apr 23, 2011
    I really enjoyed the entire episode. I am happy to finally have a show that reminds me of D&D and doesn't look like a $2 production or a kids show. The town was realistic looking and the characters behaved as I would expect them to in the dark ages. The way the episode started I thought wtf. I was on the edge of my seat awaiting a great sword battle. It didn't come but the White Skins made the scene just as exciting. I have never read the books and I'm not sure if I will. Thanks HBO for creating a show that us original D&D players and DL Chronicle readers can enjoy. Expand
  30. Jun 1, 2011
    Always been a casual fan of great fantasy literature - LOTR, Forgotten Realms, and even the occasional Dragonlance; GoT stands among them as one of the best, both in book and television form. Great characters, political intrigue and a hint of fantasy make for one epic story indeed. I'm glad I jumped on this series right away.
  31. Apr 30, 2014
    One of the best medieval, fantasy stories I have experienced since Lord of the Rings. It's compelling world is filled with interesting and well-acted characters. The plot-lines here are fantastic and sets up season 2 for what looks like some big battles up ahead. This is a show that isn't afraid to shock you. It will kill off big characters to help further the plot in believable ways. Honestly it's one of the best shows that HBO has ever aired. Well, at least this first season is.

    The only real complaint I have here is the excessive amount of nudity. Now I know HBO shows are known for their gratuitous nudity, and often that is one of the biggest appeals of their shows, but here the majority of it just feels out of place. Now I like naked women as much as the next guy, but often it can come across as an immature move for a show that prides itself on it's mature story and world. Nudity has worked for shows like Starz's Spartacus series, but here it often doesn't.

    Overall though that complaint means nothing when faced with the epic story-lines and backstabbing characters that are so entertaining to watch unfold. It's an absolutely riveting first season, and season 2 looks like it has the promise to top it. I give season 1 a near-perfect score of 9.9/10.
  32. May 26, 2011
    Simply amongst the best TV I've ever watched. In one word, Epic. The story, the characters, the drama, the darkness, this show has it all. It might be fantasy which is not to everyones tastes but the world of Westeros is so real and believable. The fact that a lot of this was shot in Northern Ireland makes me so proud. I must point out how dark this is however and my shock some people, for me that's a good thing. It makes Lord Of The Rings feel like its for kids. Real must watch TV. Expand
  33. Apr 17, 2011
    Through one episode this is a wonderful adaptation. The writers thought thru each line of dialogue giving us the viewer insight into the world of Westeros. The art direction and the production of the show is stellar. Sean Bean as Eddard Stark is amazing in his understated reserve but the true praise goes to Peter Dinklage. If the powers that be were to open their eyes to fantasy shows they will see this piece of truly grand workmanship. Us geeks envisioned Peter as Tyrion and he truly brought the character to life. Granted he only has a couple of scenes and those scenes run for a mere seconds but they were doozies. Especially the scene with Jon Snow. Of course Ghost was to have tried to take a piece of him but hey you have to lose a few items during the adaption. If you have read the books then this is a winner. Expand
  34. May 22, 2011
    I saw this in a magazine and because it was fantasy, I wasn't really bothered. I took the time to watch it and was amazed by the amount of effort HBO put in. It is as good as, if not better then Band of Brothers, the characters and their actors are amazing and it has a great story. I wouldn't recommend this to children though, its not like Lord of the Rings in any way and is much darker and grittier. The best TV series I have ever seen, truly outstanding work. Expand
  35. pkd
    Oct 30, 2011
    I have read the novels and thought they were exceptional and fabulous. With high expectations I watched the pilot and ch. 2 and was disappointed - I had this strange feeling that the actors were not immersed in their characters, as if their acting was too mechanical. But from ch. 3 on this sentiment has been replaced by a total admiration to the acting as well as the successful adaptation of the novels. King Baratheon, Ned Stark, Arya & Sansa, Tyrion and all the rest - it's such an enjoying story and even more enjoyable acting. With True Blood & Game of Thrones HBO succeeded in creating two formidable adaptations which are equal to their source in the amount of generated pleasure. It's unique. Expand
  36. Apr 18, 2011
    I went in to premiere night expecting to be disappointed, but in the end my only complaints are things only multiple-read veterans of the book series would notice (or probably care about.) I guess it means HBO did a hell of a job here, if all I can throw out there is that I missed Arya getting mocked for her needlework, Jon sitting in the great hall during the feast and feeding his wolf under the table, or Dany finally telling Drogo "Yes" after his many No's. And Lord knows we can't always have everything, especially with a time limit involved.

    Well done to everyone involved. If the pilot was this well done, we can all relax and safely expect the rest of the series to be gripping and wildly entertaining.
  37. Apr 18, 2011
    No one wants a long review but this show is capturing the series perfectly and there is a lot to look forward to. For anyone who is worried about it being cliche, one thing that this series does well is by having a cliche set up unfold in a very non cliche way.
  38. May 22, 2011
    I loved the books, and at first I thought the show wasn't living up to its potential.

    By the second episode I was hooked though, and it just gets better each episode. Even if I do remember what is coming the show still amazes.
  39. Apr 19, 2011
    Deep, noir, more alternatively historical then traditionally fantasy tv-show. Acting is just brilliant. Especially young Arja and Tyrion are exact match. Great job HBO!
  40. May 24, 2011
    Having seen six episodes so far, and being a huge fan of the books, I can happily say that this is the best fantasy series ever to appear on television, as well as a very faithful and excellent adaptation of the books. The acting is top notch, with stand-out performances by Sean Bean as Eddard Stark, and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. My personal favorite among the cast is Maisie Williams as Arya Stark. The sets, costumes, and locations they use are all well designed and compliment the story. The music is good enough, but the only memorable tune I've heard so far is the opening theme (which is fantastic). If you go into Game of Thrones expecting typical fantasy fair (such as monsters and wizards) you will find a much different and 'realistic' take on a fantasy setting. Instead of spells and goblins you will find a gritty, politically charged world filled with intrigue and numerous compelling characters. This is a show everyone must see, regardless of whether or not you like fantasy. So far this is the best new TV show of the year, and as long as the next episodes and seasons remain high quality, it will be one of the best shows ever created. Expand
  41. Apr 19, 2011
    The show seems to be following the books quite closely, which is mostly good, however there where some parts that probably should have been cut from a tv adaptation. I'll keep watching this as long as they don't deviate significantly from the books. marquis_de_vaux - my advice is to not worry about the direction you think the show will go the plot should be incredible if you have the mind to follow what is happening and can keep the characters straight. Expand
  42. Feb 18, 2012
    This is an exceptional series that puts its sizeable budget to good use by convincingly creating a unique fantasy world. The story, the writing, the acting; they are all consistently excellent. The ensemble cast give great performances which is essential in any show that features a fantasy world. We need to be sold on it by the genuine nature of its inhabitants. The story feels epic in scope by focusing on different characters and areas. The show always has new tricks up its sleeve to keep viewers hooked and I can't wait for the new season. Expand
  43. May 18, 2011
    Well Acted, scripted and directed. The story is Engaging and enthralling , this show has renewed my faith in television as an entertaining medium after years of being subjected to waves of drab mediocrity
  44. Jun 21, 2011
    Just finished watching the first season, and it is without a doubt brilliant. Watching the show lead to my reading the book a few steps behind, and watching it with several loyal fans of the book, we were all impressed.
  45. Mar 14, 2013
    Never read the books, but I am hooked on this show. Wow, wow, and wow again!

    Great acting and very engaging story. Love the plot twists and the uncertainty that exists about any of the characters whether we are talking about their morals or even whether they'll be alive in the next episode! Do yourself a big favor and watch this show from the start. I went out and bought all the dvds.
  46. May 9, 2011
    I have never read the book that this is based upon(Song of Ice and Fire I believe). But I will now. This is probably one of the best television series that I have ever watched. There is no sugar coating for the kiddies but a realistic portrayal of a dark gritty fantasy world complete with Shakespearean dramatics. The visuals and cinematography are some of the best I have seen for this genre. The acting is superb and draws the viewer into this realm like no other. If I could go higher than 10/10 I would. Expand
  47. Oct 3, 2011
    Game of Thrones is a epic and shear awesome show. The Best of its kind in my opinion. Sean Bean is such a good actor. Game of Thrones simply has it all Action, Drama, Romance, Grasping dialogue, interesting characters and a great plot. I really look forward to the 2nd season.
  48. Jul 9, 2011
    Casting is dead on, production value is high, and the writers have a great knack for identifying the dramatic moments of the book and building episodes around it.

    Downside: the series moves too quickly to really understand the motivations and background of all the many characters. My hope is that season 2 only covers part of the second book, so we have the time to really comprehend why
    the characters do what they do.

    This is a strong series and probably the best thing on HBO with Entourage winding down. Possibly the best thing on TV period.
  49. Sep 16, 2011
    I had never even heard of G.R.R.M before HBO brought out the teasers, but boy am I glad I got educated. I absolutely loved Season 1 Game of Thrones. The characters, twists, turns, backstabbing, maneuvering, sex, battles, comedy, mystery, mystique, guts & glory. It's everything I ever wanted in a show, and everything I expect from HBO's quality programming. These guys know how to pick and create winners. As much as I would like to go out and start reading Martins books, there is no way in hell I'm going to ruin this ride with spoilers. Until the curtains close on this outstanding series, I'll be content in my ignorance having never read a single page, all the while tuning in weekly to see what happens. HBO.... I'm pickin up what you're puttin down. Expand
  50. May 17, 2011
    This show is just amazing. It features one of the best put together cast in recent times. Most of the actors are unknown; but boy can they act! Especially the young actors (Arya and Bran for example), they do a terrific job of playing their roles.
    As the show goes on you sympathize with their characters, you feel what they are going through. The show is full of deceit, backstabbing,
    violence, outstanding dialogues, intriguing characters and much more. I would even go as far as putting this show up with the likes of The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood and the Shield. It's by far one of the best shows in recent times.

    Of course this show won't appeal to everyone. If you're not into the genre then there's a chance you will not enjoy all other amazing aspects of Game of Thrones.

    A special note should go to the performances of Ned Stark (Sean Bean) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage). Especially the Imp :). He plays his character with so much wit and style that he even outclasses Sean Bean. He's by far the best actor in this series.
    He owns every scene he is in.

    There is however one thing that I dislike about the show and that's King Robert (Mark Addy). I'm sorry but he's the weakest link here.
    Other than that, there's not much to dislike about Game of Thrones.
    I'm always a little sad that I have to wait another week for the next episode! haha.

    oh and I like this show so much that I even went ahead and ordered the books :)
  51. Apr 22, 2011
    I am a HUGE fan of the ASOIAF books and have read them multiple times, so my while my expectations were admittedly low, my hopes were very high. My expectations were very low from having them dashed repeatedly by Hollywood treating epic series merely as potential cash cows and "watering" them down to cater to the unwashed masses (eg. The Legend of the Seeker tv series which was based on "The Sword of Truth" series by Terry Goodkind.) My hopes were high because I really love ASOIAF and wanted something that wouldn't embarrass the books. Let's just say that I was completely blown away by just how accurately this show followed (as of Episode 1) follows the books. It's practically a scene by scene unfolding of the written text onto the tv screen. A lot of care and attention to detail had clearly gone into getting each scene and all the characters outfits and mannerisms as close to the books as possible. Everybody looked great and even little details that were in the books were present in the show, even if not mentioned. The acting was superb, especially by that of the person playing Tyrion, one of my favorite characters. The young and innocent Dany is also played really well. I can't wait until my other favorite, Arya, gets more screen time. Expand
  52. Apr 18, 2011
    I never read the books, but I was immediately drawn into the world of GoT. There are a LOT of characters and they all seem complex and interesting. The look to the show is jaw dropping, I felt like I was watching an expensive Hollywood film. I'm also glad it's on HBO, not just because of the violence, nudity, language. But because none of the big networks would have allowed topics like incest to be involved in the storytelling. This is why Network television is crumbling and cable and premium channels are now soaring. Expand
  53. May 1, 2011
    Excellent acting and photography.
    Interesting characters, intriguing and addictive story.
    It starts slow, but looks promising.
    I don't like fantasy, but this is one of the very few exceptions.
  54. May 24, 2011
    There is very long time that a series does not attract my attention. Game of Thrones makes me eagerly waiting for the next chapter. Cast, scenario, storyline, everything was incredibly detailed. Probably the best of the year and expect it to win most of television academy honors. The best way to describe the series is that Game of Thrones is where Dungeons & Dragons meets Rome.
  55. Apr 18, 2011
    Great job so far! Exposition heavy, as pilots tend to go, but very captivating and extremely promising. Characters seem to just jump off the screen, and the extensive dialogue didn't seem to plod along, as it could have. Looking forward to future episodes, when the story starts really chugging along - plus, can't miss next week after that ending!
  56. Apr 18, 2011
    The pilot episode was fantastic! First off, the acting was superb, and it was nice to see that many fan favorites were cast (sean bean, peter dinklage, charles dance, aidan gillen among others) and some new actors that look like they will make names for themselves in this :D. The show doesn't move very fast, but it's incredibly engrossing, and gives the feel of a true epic the way lord of the rings does. So far it has stayed really true to the book, and believe me when I tell you the show will only get better! If they stay the course, I can't even imagine how good this show will be... I'm so excited!!! Expand
  57. Apr 17, 2011
    I signed up for Metacritic just so I could write this review. The first episode is AWESOME! I haven't read the books, so I can''t comment on the adaptation, but this **** is real! I can't wait for the rest of the episodes, new favourite show :)
  58. Apr 18, 2011
    I had been looking forward to this show for well over a year, reading and watching every little tidbit I could find on-line. Having read and loved the book Game of Thrones is based on, I had high expectations. The show did not disappoint, the first episode was far and away the best hour of television I have ever seen. The characters from the book came to life through the amazing performances of the cast. Highlights include Peter Dinklage as Tyrion and Maisie Williams as Arya.

    Some initial concerns were raised on adapting such a complex series to the small screen, that it might be difficult for the average viewer to follow. I think those fears may now be laid to rest as it seemed to me that the show was very clear and concise, though I shall leave it to the non-readers to answer this question better.

    Regarding the plot, I thought the adaption worked very well in creating a beginning, middle and ending that left you wanting more. I don't want to give away any details so as not to spoil the show for anyone who has yet to watch it. Suffice to say it is well worth taking a look to see if it suits you or not.
  59. Apr 18, 2011
    Well-paced, well-acted, well-shot--this is a piece glorious to behold! The production is beautiful, the dialog economical and exceptionally well-delivered, and it is smart in bringing Martin's writing to screen: the spirit is all there, the grim tone, and even the added scenes created to flesh out the characters and the world feel natural, as if lifted from the novels. That's when you know the showrunners understand the story and deeply appreciates the complexities. Standouts include Peter Dinklage (Tyrion), Maisie Williams (Arya), Isaac (Bran), Kit Harrington (Jon), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn), Sean Bean (Ned), Harry Lloyd (Viserys), Mark Addy (Robert), and Lena Headey (Cersei). That's quite a big roster of favourites, but therein lies the truth: fans of the novel or not, Game of Thrones is a meaty spectacle with an astounding cast. You can't afford to miss this TV event of the year, folks! Expand
  60. Apr 18, 2011
    Very good adaptation, faithful to the tone and pace of the original novels. Actors and sets are amazing, it was a long wait but it is really worth it.
  61. Apr 20, 2011
    It's almost as wrong to give the show a 10 after one episode as it is to give it a 0 after one episode, but that's what I'm going to do. Not only because I enjoyed it, but because everyone I watched with (including one person who doesn't like fantasy, and the rest of whom would never read the books) all enjoyed it and got the gist of it. Some characters seem stereotypical, but I'm having difficulty remembering any first episode that wasn't just as cliche. Certainly the first episode of the wire they were just gangbangers, cops, and the cops superiors. Nothing's a bigger cliche than cops arguing with their bosses. And there were some standouts, such as Dinklage, the dwarf (using the modern definition of dwarf) with a chip on his shoulder, Ned as John Wayne, and Harry Lloyd as the manic but spoiled exiled prince. In a usual story, the exiled prince would be the main character, the King Arthur to be that we can't wait to see get the throne. Here, we want to stab him.

    There is a lot to take in, but it was less confusing than it could have been. Women have a hard time of it, all the more to see them overcome their station in the future. It feels a bit similar to Mad Men, or even the recent Boardwalk Empire, in this regard. Acting is great, and the dialogue is well written, saying a lot without blabbering on with boring exposition. If you aren't paying attention, you are likely to miss most of the subtext, and the nudity may distract from the story, but it's very much a part of it. It never feels as if the sex is meant to excite you, which may leave people expecting that in the dust.

    All in all there were a lot of great scenes, the production design paid off, and the story seems to be heading to interesting places. We'll see how it holds up after a few more episodes. Most reviews say it gets better, which judging from the reactions of my family and friends, means we are in for some seriously fun tv.
  62. Apr 18, 2011
    The sprawling epic of George R.R. Martin has been successfully brought to the small screen. Production values equalling that of the previous HBO period drama Rome, the attention to detail is stunning. The casting is done masterfully, finding not only extremely fitting adult actors, but finding amazing new talent for the child and teenage characters. This is one series you'd better not miss.
  63. Apr 18, 2011
    For those of you who have not read the book, prepare for a wild ride! For those of you who have, this is the as faithful an adaptation as I have seen from book to film (or TV in this case.) Like Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Ring" trilogy, this series captures the tone and the emotion of the books perfectly, if not exact scenes and dialogue. With characters and situations as real and as strong as any other literature genre out there, the slight fantasy found in "Game of Thrones" simply adds suspense and emotion to an already beautiful story. Expand
  64. Apr 18, 2011
    As a long time fan of the series, I was very skeptical at first. In the opening scenes I found myself mentally comparing everything to my memory of what I had read. Eventually this comparison gave way to marveling out how smoothly the transition from print to screen had been pulled off. For those of you new to the series, stick with it and you'll see why the books have been so successful. I signed up for HBO just to watch this show, and so far I'm not regretting it in the slightest. Expand
  65. Apr 19, 2011
    Simply stunning for a tv series. The costumes and scenery are spot on and really give the sense of gritty reality that permeates the show. While not exactly like the book, it is very close and it is obvious George the pirate (George Arr Arr Martin) has had a guiding hand in the production. It is great to live in a time where fantasy can finally be brought to the screen in all its glory. I pity the small minded individuals without any imagination that think the fantasy genre is just for kids. This series is going to be truly magnificent and we can only hope they will continue production with the second book once this is completed (which might actually make him finish writing the series finally) Expand
  66. Apr 19, 2011
    Fantastic! I'm an avid reader of the books and, while scenes have been added, dialogue changed and other things altered, this adaptation, so far, remains very faithful.

    The episode opens dramatically and closes even more dramatically, finishing with one of my favourite lines of the entire Song of Ice and Fire series of books.

    The CGI in places was a little off (for example when Bran is
    clambering around the towers of Winterfell) but, on the whole, it's very well produced.

    Overall, a fantastic start to what I hope will be the best season of television ever!
  67. Jun 21, 2011
    The first 5 minutes were atmospheric, cinematic (except for fake dead girl doll), but then it went downhill. It felt like I was flipping the channel between two late night cable shows and a national geographic nightmare. People talked a lot--idle chit chat. I had no problem getting the main characters, but I found them to be pre-made stereotypes. It was like I was peeking into the fantasies of a 13 year old boy. And the narrative was telling me, not showing me, a bunch of information that I didn't care about, never helping care for any of these people or whatever situation they are in. The terrible editing was the final straw for me. The transitions between scenes were very disruptive, giving me no hope for immersion into the show. At last I became fully aware I was watching a show I didn't want to watch. I realized no amount of hype could get me to forgive the problems of the show and the fact that I am not in the target audience. I simply don't care for this world or its characters. I did see the last scene, the intended "wow, shocking, now you must come back" message but since I had absolutely no time to care for anyone, it felt like a great exit cue never to return. The episode was rushed. I think if they had slowed down and given me a sense of the world and what these people did, as if they were real and not just players on a stage, I would have been pulled in. I would give this show a score of 0 which I believe in metacritic terms equals a mixed review scoring 40. Expand
  68. Jun 21, 2011
    Having not read the books, I was thoroughly surprised by the series and found myself enjoying it so far immensely. The show is good because the original author retains control, a "realistic" element runs strong and the backgrounds and extras are adequately fleshed out. Can't wait for more.
  69. Apr 20, 2011
    I loved the premiere episode. Some people seem to have issues with the pace and the jumps between scenes etc and I guess I can understand what they mean but when I watched it I didn't even notice a problem with things like that at all. I think it was a very good adaption of the books. The acting is good throughout and even excellent by many cast members even in smaller roles. I think that having read the books puts certain things, that some have taken issue with (like sex and racism), into a perspective where it's not the same problem since you know more about the whole world and how various characters think. Expand
  70. Jun 21, 2011
    It was the great geek hope. A good friend of mine told me this would change my mind about fantasy. But it didn't happen. I thought it was a cardinal rule of fantasy to have bearded dwarves and this was different. But beardless dwarves is not enough to make me want to go play miniatures and dice in a basement. The nudity was obviously gratuitous [edit score changed to 10]
  71. May 30, 2011
    Amazin adaptation of the book, the actors are great ande story too. Maybe a little more action could be better, but its ok.

    You must watch the show, and enjoy it.
  72. Apr 21, 2011
    A brilliant adaptation of George R. R. Martin's fantasy masterpiece. The book's cast of hundreds has been necessarily reduced to a cast of dozens, but this series will satisfy both devotees and newbies. The cast is excellent (particularly Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister Sean Bean as Eddard Stark), the sets and camera work are stellar, and the whole production brings a breath of fresh air to a stale genre. Expand
  73. Apr 20, 2011
    Game of Thrones achieved something I didn't think was possible. It managed to capture the essence of the books, but in such an amazing way that even someone who hasn't read the books is able to follow the story.
    One thing I especially loved was the way they made show's intro a piece of an explanatory process. It shows you the world and the places the story is taking place so that you can
    have an idea of where exactly the characters are located.
    Being a huge fan of the "Song of Ice and Fire" series I'm extremely glad show lived up to all my expectations and I'm anxiously awaiting the upcoming episodes and am also extremely glad it already got renewed for the second season!
  74. Apr 21, 2011
    A great adaptation of the books. They changed just enough to make it a good tv experience, keeping the spirit of the books. The first chapters will be a bit slow, but it will only get better as all the characters are introducted, and the exposition isn't as needed for the non-readers.
  75. Apr 22, 2011
    Game of Thrones is the TV adaption from the books of George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire. Where television adaptions usually fail, Game of Thrones succeeds. The characters, cast, scenery, costume, etc., all looked incredible and had the feeling I was really a apart of this world. Although not every little detail was translated perfectly from the books, and some scenes I would have like to have seen were missing, the pilot episode was still grand achievement in setting down the main story.

    The first episode tries it's best to set down this complex storyline. Some people might feel a little lost, or uncomfortable with this new world at first. You also have to keep in mind that this story is an adult story, and as I said, it is complex. For those who have never read the books and found the pilot interesting, trust me it gets better and better with each episode. Stick with it, and you'll get to witness one of the best stories ever told!
  76. Apr 22, 2011
    An extremely well-executed show. While deviating only a small amount from the books by George R.R. Martin, the series is able to make Westeros and Martin's universe seem more complicated and, paradoxically, more accessible at the same time. Excellent acting from the massive ensemble cast is impressive, and Peter Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in particular deserve praise for really making their characters come alive. Beautiful scenery and sets, and excellent costume design are simply icing on the cake. The show is not perfect. It receives low points in Special Effects (the dead wildlings at the beginning looked like they were made by B-Movie horror movie fans) , and the size of the case and similar appearance of many related characters makes keeping track of all the characters, especially the the Older Starks, Theon Greyjoy, etc. difficult. Expand
  77. Apr 22, 2011
    needed more monsters and less nudity how can I make that at least 150 characters long? ok it also needed less incest and more actual politics strategy and fighting. and maybe a real plot
  78. May 1, 2011
    Having read the entire book series, multiple times, I had some concerns coming into the televised series. Thankfully they have been proven unfounded. The acting, writing, and set design are all excellent!
  79. Apr 23, 2011
    This review is a response to the review by marquis_de_vaux .

    The pilot cover the first 7 chapters of the book and when I was at that point in the book, the story felt very "typical fantasy" to me, as well. After the pilot, the standard tropes of fantasy begin to be subverted and the story begins to differentiate itself from "traditional fantasy". The story at this point is very rushed
    and it is a shame that HBO only gave them 10 episodes when 12 would have let them taken a slower pace to tell the story. I think a 2 hours pilot would have given the producers room to tell the story in a less hurried way. Also, the dwarf in the TV show is not a member of a race of diminutive people, but an actual human suffering from dwarfism. There are no Elves, Dwarfs or Orcs as depicted in LOTR. Expand
  80. Apr 23, 2011
    Well plotted and paced; excellent, has taken the fantasy genre to another level. Excellent masterpiece. I should also say that if this show is a commercial failure, or even a commercial mediocrity, I will never forgive society.
  81. Apr 23, 2011
    Awesome show! Never read the the books but know someone who has and said it's pretty accurate so far.
    Has that Gladiator Lord of the rings feel to it. A must watch if your a fan of the two movies!
  82. Apr 23, 2011
    When I first heard of Game of Thrones, I was intrigued. I started reading the first book in the series and I love it. I say something on Gameinformer that said something like "Not as many noobs as Aseroth, ans not as eno as Middle-Earth." I think that quote fits perfectly. For anyone who enjoys fantasy, this should be a must watch.
  83. Apr 23, 2011
    Fantastic series with extraordinarily high production values. The show does a sterling job in introducing some of the very large cast and making emotional connections early on. The story is fantastic and I cannot wait to see what the show has in store. This blows everything currently on television out of the water.
  84. Apr 24, 2011
    You have to give HBO credit for not only attempting to put this on the screen but also remaining faithful to the source material. Although I think "The White Walkers" sequence could have been handled better and that the Khal Drogo parts were a bit too stylized for my taste (They should have been dirtier and more brutish), overall HBO has done an amazing job. I'm looking forward to watching it all unfold and seeing (as well as reading, if he ever decides to finish the book series) how it ends. Expand
  85. Apr 24, 2011
    Pace was always going to be difficult when trying to introduce this many characters, but under the circumstances they did a good job, its only going to get quicker from here. Really enjoyed the first episode.
  86. Apr 25, 2011
    I will state from the beginning, I am a fan of the original book series. I went into the premiere having never seen an HBO show before, and I will admit, my expectations were low. To be able to condense all of the information from the book into a television series seemed like an impossible feat, but after watching the pilot I am confident that they can do it. The production quality was astounding, the casting unbelievable, and altogether I believe this is a fantastic start to something greater. The action is convincing enough to keep viewers entertained, the subject material different enough to pull in people who haven't read the books, and the series as a whole is faithful enough to keep those who have read the series happy. It started strong and I am confident that it will stay that way. Expand
  87. Apr 25, 2011
    Magnificent, Game of Thrones is by far the best series I have seen to this day. Each episode so far has been packed with a rich and intriguing story that keeps you glued start to end, the only downsider is having to wait another week to watch the next episode ! For any of the uninitiated, I highly recommend the series but don't go into the show thinking of classical goblins, dragons etc throw those used notions away and allow the series to absorb your interest you won't regret it.

    My only regret is that I haven't read any of George R R Martins novels yet.
  88. Jun 22, 2011
    Only HBO could make a show like Game of Thrones, and make it excellent.

    I have not read a single page of George R.R. Martin's series of books. Considering the quality of story on the small screen, I may just hold out and wait to see HBO's (apparently very faithful) adaptation.

    This first season is fascinating. It has to create a fantasy world, for those who have read and not read (such
    as myself), that actually feels real. Through its course, it achieves this by building characters, relationships, and strong underlying themes, with the quality of production that is exclusive to HBO. To keep this brief, what makes this even more compelling: the first season is, essentially, prologue. It breaks the rules of television without being pretentious; it all builds layers that matter. I cannot wait for season 2 and beyond. Perhaps the wait alone will make me reconsider my decision not to read the books. Expand
  89. Apr 27, 2011
    It is very rare that an adaptation can live up to the images we keep in our heads from a book. Often I hear "the book was better". Occasionally I hear "the adaptation was better". This is quite literally the first time I've seen an adaptation that is simultaneously not the story I imagine from the book and yet still hits every note I think the story should have had. Extra scenes feel like added bonus material. Cut scenes feel like bonus information for book readers. Performances are fantastic. Sets are gorgeous. The music is awesome. Even the opening title sequence is inspired. Is it for non readers? I can't judge that, the biggest problem for them is avoiding spoilers on the net. All that said. This is a politics and power piece. This won't bring in the action fans, but it will have elements interesting to fans of horror, thrillers, suspense, mystery, historicals, and preludes to war. Those who demand shows adhere to their particular belief systems will also find many elements of the show distasteful. There is sex, violence, and squick, but they all serve the plot or symbolism rather than just be placed to titillate. If shots of pumping blood, disembowlment, or unpleasant sex so engross your mind that you can't pick up the quality of the rest of the performances, this show won't be for you. It's for people who like to eat steaks from sacred cows.

    I find complaints about stereotypes in this show hilarious. One can't show people bucking a stereotype without setting them up as one to begin with, and one can't show people bucking an oppressive system without having that oppressive system to begin with.
  90. Apr 27, 2011
    The relationships of the book are well realized and the telling of much with subtle and nuanced performances all adds up to an intriguing show. As a personal preference I might have liked a slight toning down of the nudity but it's no major detraction and to be fair it is in good keeping with the source material. Importantly wherever there is vulgarity the acting is good enough to justify it by virtue of sheer

    The entire cast feels well chosen, particular favorites so far that
    have caught my attention by their emotionally loaded portrayals are
    Arya and Tyrion, but also John, Rob and Eddard which bodes well for
    the series at large since they are all such major characters.

    The dire wolves and the medieval vistas are presented with a haunting
    level of authenticity that captures the imagination and stays grounded
    all at once.

    The ill hid contempt of the Queen for her dwarf brother and the
    protectiveness of family both amongst the Starks and their rivals are
    portrayed easily and captivatingly. It's also what lays a solid
    foundation for the action.

    Motivations, loyalties, ambitions, passions and embitterments are done
    pleasing justice with a script that suits the tone and atmosphere of
    a chaotic and embattled medieval society with teeth of corruption and
    claws of bravery, the series gives its own enhanced perspective and
    for as long as everyone is fighting out of their own hearts all is
    well in the lands of Westeros.
  91. Apr 30, 2011
    This is a brilliant transition from book to film thus far. I have never seen a movie or TV series follow the book so well. The high production value and great casting just adds to the immersion. It would be best to watch the whole season one episode after another to get the full effect, And now with HBOGO available we can do it on our iphones/ipads! Can't wait to see how they handle 3 very interesting characters that appear at the very end of the first book! Expand
  92. Mar 13, 2013
    Turning a set of epic fantasy novels as complex as George R.R. Martin's best-selling 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series was always going to be a daunting task that could easily have ended in disaster. Fortunately the creators of Game of Thrones have not only lived up to expectations but excelled them. Featuring multiple story lines, each packed with numerous important characters, most viewers who haven’t read the novels will find the opening few episodes tough to follow (I know I certainly did!) but stick with the show and you will be rewarded. Featuring a fantastic cast including the likes of Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey Game of Thrones biggest achievement is in maintaining a narrative pace that keeps you engaged even during long scenes of dialogue, of which there are a lot. All of it always feels as though it is required though with much explanation needed to lay out the geography of the seven kingdoms, as well as the various families and dynasties that are fighting for control of this world. In amongst all the explanation there is plenty of, sometimes unnecessary, sex and violence but unlike many shows it is usually there to advance the plot and the ten episodes set things up perfectly for what is sure to be an epic second season.

    Throwing all the established television rules out the window Game of Thrones is the best original series in a long time. If you haven’t yet watched it ignore those short sighted critics as this is a must buy.
  93. May 3, 2011
    As Game of Thrones was filmed very close by to where I live, I felt that it would be a great idea to watch this programme. Although the plot is fantastic and in great depth, with a large variety of characters within, the strong use of sexual scenes, violence, nudity and swearing closes this to a large part of the audience. Sean Bean's performance as Edd Stark is very believable, along with many of the other characters. Definitely a show worth watching, although slow at the start, I would recommend that you should be over 15 before considering watching this. Expand
  94. Jun 2, 2011
    Really nice series so far; brilliant and entertaining and without compromises - should you compare it to the book. Also it's becoming clear this thing will rock your world even more as the second season starts off! I'm sure the show will grow up to be COLOSSAL in the best ways possible!
  95. May 4, 2011
    A Game of Thrones asks the question: "What if the War of the Roses was fought not by two families, but over half a dozen? The show does justice to the extremely popular book series that it's based on. HBO has done a fine job of recreating the much loved characters, as well as the various sub-plots that they're involved in. While at the time of this review the different layers of conflict haven't fully emerged, the stage is being well set for the chess game that is coming, with different characters as the pieces.

    My only real concern is the level of back story new audiences are being asked to take in; the solution of which HBO is addressing through their Game of Thrones website which provides a great deal of explanation. This is a good solution to the commonly used tactic of having characters discuss back story that the involved characters are fully aware of.

    HBO has also done a great job at finding ways to reduce costs while putting together a fine story; I only mention this because many fans are afraid of the show being cut due to costs. We can only hope that interest will remain high as this is a show that far surpasses the plethora of mind numbing sitcoms that are so popular amongst audiences today.
  96. May 8, 2011
    Long story short. This show is really good. If your looking for a typical fantasy with orcs, dragons and wizards along with sensless violence then game of thrones isn't for you. Overall great characters and great story! I strongly recommend this to anyone who doesnt watch desperate housewives.
  97. May 8, 2011
    If your somewhat a fan of fantasy stories and games, whats not to like? Really enjoy the story thus-far and I only hear from people who have read the book that it only gets far better. Really excited to see how the season will pan out!
  98. Jun 5, 2011
    I came into Game of Thrones without knowing anything about it or the books behind it. I only heard about the series from the guys at machinima.com. I'm glad now I bothered to look it up as I have never enjoyed or watched a series quite like this. Each episode is more intense then the last and will leave you swearing at your TV when it finishes, it's no surprise that the series as earned the nick name "Game of Holy F#cks". Do yourself a favor and check it out... there's boobs ;) Expand
  99. May 13, 2011
    I have never read the books, so I thought I might get lost initially - my fears were unfounded however, this show is building something great that's equally brilliant in pace of story and character development.

    Every episode gives more insight into the large character pool which is comparable to the excellent 'The Wire'. The depth of the various groups and individuals in Westeros blows
    me away more each week, and you get glimpses of what each focal character's potential has in store for them... I can only imagine how great this show is for readers of the books.... I really can't say enough about the quality and class of spectacle on show here - 10/10 with a big red cherry on top! Expand
  100. May 15, 2011
    Epic, amazing - hadn't read the books so I went out and bought them all. Making my way through the first one now and there are a few differences - mainly that they have cut some characters, which I guess makes sense as there is a load to remember in the book. I'm wondering now whether I should continue to read past where the show is up to - I think I will, from what I heard it only adds to the value. This is how fantasy should be done on TV. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Apr 25, 2011
    The epic fantasy series is lavish, violent and often quite nasty. Most crucially, this adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" book series is unnecessarily difficult to follow.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Apr 18, 2011
    The gloriously bloody and depraved spirit of the novels is intact and even enhanced.
  3. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Apr 18, 2011
    A grand soap opera of epic proportions, Game of Thrones can be a bit talky in some episodes, but the series draws a viewer in with well-defined characters and a multitude of simultaneous stories whose plot turns are generally unpredictable.