- Network: HBO
- Series Premiere Date: Apr 17, 2011
Review this tv show
Apr 18, 2011Coming from the perspective of someone who hasn't read George R. R. Martin's novels, but who is a massive fan of high-quality TV drama, I have to confess that, for me, Game of Thrones started in an underwhelming way. Not only that, it shows many worrying signs of being a bit of a stinker, in spite of the effort put into its undoubtedly fancy production design.
Having read my fair shareComing from the perspective of someone who hasn't read George R. R. Martin's novels, but who is a massive fan of high-quality TV drama, I have to confess that, for me, Game of Thrones started in an underwhelming way. Not only that, it shows many worrying signs of being a bit of a stinker, in spite of the effort put into its undoubtedly fancy production design.
Having read my fair share of fantasy series in years gone by, in the run-up to the Game of Thrones debut I found myself deeply curious as to what it was that made this series sufficiently distinct as to be worthy of a big-budget TV adaptation. So far, I'm not sure. ClichÃ© abounds in the first episode, from unfunny jokes about fat kings to the awkward acquisition of symbolic familiars, from steroidally-enhanced, woad-daubed barbarians (wearing mascara) to rumblings of trouble 'brewing in the north', there's little to set the subject matter apart from the legion of other fantasy universes out there which readers swear blind to be 'brilliant' but that, to many outsiders of the genre, typically seem a little bit silly.
Clearly a great deal of money has been lavished on the series however, with lots of candles, beautiful haircuts, distinctly cut leather armour and fur-trimmed cloaks aplenty. I do have to query why all this pageantry been assembled though - beyond providing a sort of Hercules: The Legendary Adventures for grown ups. And certainly the pilot boasts symbols of maturity - topless ladies appear every fifteen minutes or so, and brooding men with swords frequently use naughty words - but the whole thing, to me, seemed overbearingly camp and, unfortunately, riddled with adolescent preoccupations. Admittedly, there is serious subject matter here, with baddies engaged in incest and hints at the severe duties involved in courtly life, but I ultimately couldn't believe in the universe that the series-makers had fashioned for me, and as a result felt rather like I was watching people play dress-up rather than an exploration of the genuine issues to which the characters were party. So far then, the next big thing in the current Golden Age of TV this ain't.
I'm not suggesting that fans of the swords and sorcery genre won't enjoy Game of Thrones - I imagine that many will - but I would suggest that few viewers who don't will be won over by this pilots' limited charms. It is refreshing to see Peter Dinklage given a central role in a series, and it's also great to see Joseph Mawle receiving some prime-time exposure, but the cast are hard-pressed to convince while discussing such clangingly unreal topics as orphaned dire wolf pups or their eagerness to sell family members into sex slavery. And on that topic, the pilot's eagerness to see women sexually exploited is, to me, a little worrying, and risks alienating many potential viewers before it's even got going.
Undeniably, creating 'grown up' fantasy series' is a tough business, and Game of Thrones' pilot does seem to hint that there will be more depth to proceedings as things develop, but to put Game of Thrones on a level with other top-tier HBO or AMC output is unthinkable. Even The Walking Dead, the subject matter of which many might have thought beyond the interest of the average viewer, managed to fashion itself into a series that was, for the most part, mature and intriguing. Likewise, Mad Men's debut introduced us to a sexist culture in ways that left viewers reeling, and The Soprano's spent time exploring how counterproductive its characters' regressive views were, encouraging us to look at its characters as incredibly dangerous buffoons, and anything but stereotypes.
In its own pilot however, Game of Thrones fails to show any of this promise, or that, in this post-Gladiator, post-Lord of the Rings world, that 'fantasy' has grown up. Although fans of Sean Bean's work in The Black Death, or such similar efforts as Nicholas Cage's recent The Season of the Witch or Michael J. Bassett's Solomon Kane, might lap up Game of Thrones as a big step forward for the genre, those of us looking for nuance, tension, believability - or even plausibility - in a drama set in an imaginary world full of axes, horses and mud... well, it looks like we're destined to be disappointed by this one.… Expand
Mar 24, 2012I honestly dOnt understand the hype this series gets. I found myself looking away every ten minutes because things got to confusing. After I got past the first five episodes I found myself enjoying it more. But I know one thing, I won't be back for season 2.
Mar 13, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I, like many others, have not read the books. I'd heard plenty of good things about the series so I decided to give it a chance. I wasn't entirely displeased at it, either. A lot of the characters had great wit and personality, and I found myself feeling far more attached to certain characters and story threads than others, as I suppose is natural with a series with SO MANY different people involved. At first, I was quite interested to see how the characters developed, but near... about the half-way point, I'd say, my enjoyment began to waver a bit. To put it simply, initially I was very impressed by the way some of the main characters were dealt with. It felt surprising in the sense that no character seemed to be safe from terrible things happening to them. But in all honesty, by the end of the season I just found it hard to watch because it felt like they were just piling on terrible thing after terrible thing and the best way I can describe it in my own mind is that I found it all very tiring. Please don't get me wrong; as a writer myself I do enjoy and find it important to cause bad things to happen to important characters. It's what moves a story along. But when there's so many bad things happening and it feels as though nothing GOOD happens to any of them, it begins to wear on me a little bit. In the end, I found myself becoming less attached to characters I'd liked the whole way through just because I didn't want to feel so put out when they were inevitably killed or wronged in some egregious way. I'm not quite sure whether this is simply a fault of my own or if others feel the same, but it is for that reason primarily that my score remains in the green. I can't call it poor because of my preference, but I can't give it a perfect score, either. It is also for this reason I recommend people see it for themselves and make their own decision.… Expand
May 25, 2011If I hadn't read the '...Ice & Fire' series, I'd rate GoT as a decent, politically charged fantasy which sadly lacks a serious visual punch. As a long time fan of the novels, I rate it as a faithful, well-casted politcally charged fantasy which sadly lacks a serious visual punch. The written versions of Westeros and Essos (the two main continents) are rich in geographical diversity,If I hadn't read the '...Ice & Fire' series, I'd rate GoT as a decent, politically charged fantasy which sadly lacks a serious visual punch. As a long time fan of the novels, I rate it as a faithful, well-casted politcally charged fantasy which sadly lacks a serious visual punch. The written versions of Westeros and Essos (the two main continents) are rich in geographical diversity, cultural amalgams and ancient lore, yet I find the rather drab aesthetics and lack of historical backdrop of the TV series a let down. Much of my admiration of the novels is the detailed histories of former power players and great houses. In GoT (TV), many characters are introduced in a short space of time, and without any real defining features or history of those said characters, they all seem to blur somewhat. When combined with as many references to it's own characters as GoT has, it creates a rather confusing "who are they talking about" scenario to a new viewer. That said, the majority of the cast can't be faulted, and is mainly solid with a few stand-out peformances, notably the ever-reliable Sean Bean as Eddard Stark, and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. Dinklage is clearly a fan of the written works, and his adaptation of Tyrion is not only superb as standalone, but perfectly translated from book to screen. Whilst GoT sadly skips a lot of politics for the sake of story progression and pace, it still makes for good viewing and characters to care about. My own personal preferences for how it should look and feel are moot in terms of a review, in which case I'd definitely recommend it to anyone interested in fantasy/drama. A treat for the eyes it is not, an utter disappointment neither, but I can't help thinking it will be looked back on (perhaps after later series) as somewhat underwhelming.… Expand
May 2, 2011Gratuitous nudity sells and this is no exception. Yes, I know I'm going against the flow but I don't find it particular compelling. Remove all the nudity and I would hazard to say that the ratings wouldn't be as high. So be honest, when you are watching the show are you genuinely interested in the next plot sequence, or are you anxiously waiting for the next nude scene?
Apr 28, 2012I'm very curious to learn if the producers / writters of the TV version dare to go even more towards the original book in season2, because in season1 it all starts good but slowly it drifts away from the book. I mean.. Tyrion is a very twisted, evil guy in the book (also because you are 'in' his thoughts) but in the tv series he's now almost like the hero. Mostly such movie makers use theI'm very curious to learn if the producers / writters of the TV version dare to go even more towards the original book in season2, because in season1 it all starts good but slowly it drifts away from the book. I mean.. Tyrion is a very twisted, evil guy in the book (also because you are 'in' his thoughts) but in the tv series he's now almost like the hero. Mostly such movie makers use the excuse "yes, but americans won't like this and that, they rather see this and that since our graphs show that this is popular right now and that other thing is not popular" but wouldn't it be fun to see if the producers said "screw that, we already know the books are really good, we'll just stay true to the original story and details!". But, for the majority of the viewers (those who have not read the books) it's probably already very 'new and entertaining' enough.… Expand
Dec 10, 2013I have recently discovered Game of Thrones, but failed to be impressed. It is clear that the books where the series is based upon, is some low-budget version of Tolkien's work (it comes as no surprise that the writer even shares the same initials R.R.). This doesn't help the series because I was constantly thinking "oh, we saw that in TLOTR: The Return of the King" or "Looks like theI have recently discovered Game of Thrones, but failed to be impressed. It is clear that the books where the series is based upon, is some low-budget version of Tolkien's work (it comes as no surprise that the writer even shares the same initials R.R.). This doesn't help the series because I was constantly thinking "oh, we saw that in TLOTR: The Return of the King" or "Looks like the Hobbit only much tackier".
The series also tries to score by adding lots of violence and sex (I call it the "Spartacusation of Middle Earth") and fails in that respect as well.
So what is left to keep on watching? Some nice music, good scenery, a couple of good actors.… Expand
Sep 26, 2014Great graphics, good story, however, the story is stretch out so long that nothing serious really gets done. There are way too much talking that is not directly related to the main story, and it is getting to be very frustrating to sit and wait for the story to play out. Also, each season is less than 10 episodes, talk about doing less with less.
Jul 25, 2013If you want a show with 4 zillion charters set in some fantasy middle evil ages game of thrones if for you.
I'll admit I've only watched a few episodes. Personally I find it to slow and it has to many charters. Maybe it makes more sense if you have read the books. But each to there own.
May 24, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Ok, so I'm a newcomer, I never read a George R.R. Martin novel, but I got interested in this TV series commercial. Here comes the big day first episode starts, and I get ... board. Seriously what we understand from the firs episode, very little! The world of Martins books isn't described , the purpose of the Wall isn't explained except that some" live" there zombies and kill people. Well for writers credit we can say that they tried to get audien's to all battle for the throne staff and tel us about relations in the royal family. Also it's annoying that they tray so hard to show that this movie is for adults buy hard language and sex sines. So in mz opinion main minuses are: lack of world Description THAT RAISES MANY QUESTIONS, very slow pacing.
Main pluses: great costumes,great sets and good actors.
This is my opinion, I don't think that it's 100% right I will continue to watch this show and maybe change my mind.… Expand
Jul 24, 2011As far as adaptations on fantasy/ sci-fi novels to tv/films, there have been far worse than GOT. The casting and setting are top-notch, and for the most part it comes off really well. But there are problems... The gratuitous sex scenes really spoiled things, and don't add anything substantial to the story. Yes, this is a more "grown-up" kind of fantasy, and there is a lot of sex andAs far as adaptations on fantasy/ sci-fi novels to tv/films, there have been far worse than GOT. The casting and setting are top-notch, and for the most part it comes off really well. But there are problems... The gratuitous sex scenes really spoiled things, and don't add anything substantial to the story. Yes, this is a more "grown-up" kind of fantasy, and there is a lot of sex and violence in the books, but it's far more subtle, whereas on the TV series is often comes off as vulgar and feels like it's pandering to the audience. I really enjoyed the political intrigue as the game of thrones is played out, and could think of many people, older and younger, that I'd want to share this with and that would enjoy some intelligent, elf-free, fantasy. But then there are all the gratuitous sex scenes that would make me extremely uncomfortable watching this with my family or recommending it to a co-worker...
By the last few episodes in the series, I felt that the story was beginning to lose it's initial power and impact as the story expanded and opened up. In the first episode, the main characters are mostly in one place and the interaction is focused and succinct. But as the characters go off in different directions we find that each character or location only gets 5 minutes of screentime per episode, and some are left out all together. This makes it feel like either the story is stagnating as nothing of real significance can happen in only 5 minutes per episode, OR, by only focusing on the main, exciting events, the timeline feels disjointed and it's hard to get a sense of what's connecting these short moments. So many relationships and character arcs suffer because of this, e.g. Dany and Drogo's relationship, Dany's maturation as a queen, John Snow's maturation in the Night's Watch, Rob Stark's transition from boy to leader... and many more. The story only becomes even more expansive and the characters more rich and diverse as the books progress, and if this is already a problem at the end of season one, I cannot see how this can be fixed in later seasons, especially if they are determined to cram another entire book into only 10 episodes. The books are over 1000 pages each, they are massive and expansive, and you really feel immersed in this vast world. Time passes slowly and there is spectacular build-up to some very shocking, surprising and awesome twists in the story. This gets lost in the TV series, and things feel choppy and disconnected. Wouldn't it be nice if the number of episodes weren't predetermined, and rather developed organically as the writers wrote each episode as they saw fit... *sigh* If you haven't read the books, then a lot of supporting characters are superfluous or forgettable, and their random re-appearances can be confusing. Quite a few times i found myself asking "who is that guy again?" As a stand-alone series, I don't think it's that great, and it was often only after multiple viewings, consulting websites and maps that i properly understood the relationships between characters, houses, and locations. But why should it be necessary to do all this extra work if you are just an average member of the TV audience? Not once, while watching HBO's other great shows like Rome, Deadwood or The Wire, did I need to go online to figure out what was really going on. All the information was right there, in the show, but without it being spelled out or dumbed down. Now, I didn't mind reading up more on GOT because I'm a nerd and already interested in this genre. But people don't want to watch TV to do homework, they want to be entertained. I'm not particulary fond of crime drama's, and if I had to go do a bunch of back-reading to understand The Wire properly I woulnd't have bothered with what is really a fantastic show. Even if you aren't a big fan of fantasy, the political intrigue and character development could still be highly enjoyable, providing you knew what was really going on... All that being said, GOT is certainly not the worst show on TV and worth a look. And now, after having read the books, I can honestly say that the show didn't tick me off nearly as much as some other adaptations *cough cough Harry Potter cough cough*. HBO has done a fairly good job.
The absolute BEST thing about Game of Thrones is that it got me reading the books, which is some of the best, most addictive fantasy out there, and should be read by any fans of the genre.… Expand
Apr 21, 2011I don't feel in the mood to try to awe everyone with my extensive flourishing vocabulary as most of the reviews I have read. I just want to put it plain and simple: Distracting editing clips. If I wanted to watch one set of boobies after another I do believe there are channels, and internet sites dedicated to that. The overall appeal of the storyline, was yes slow as Fantasy goes, but itI don't feel in the mood to try to awe everyone with my extensive flourishing vocabulary as most of the reviews I have read. I just want to put it plain and simple: Distracting editing clips. If I wanted to watch one set of boobies after another I do believe there are channels, and internet sites dedicated to that. The overall appeal of the storyline, was yes slow as Fantasy goes, but it very well set the stage for an interesting and heavy politicking scandal. Despite what some say, I generally like the acting by the main characters and feel that like most fantasy within the first few episodes we will be able to connect with them. I hope I get that far with the show.....after all if there isn't more STORY, less T&A, better scene changes, and yes better dialogue.....I highly doubt that in a world not our own the cuss words would be identical to ours....some Creativity would be appreciated. Or did HBO use up all there creative people in the set design, and costuming....which were much appreciated.
Well anyway I would really enjoy this series playing out in its fullest (that's why I signed up to write this review after all).....But if it doesn't move away from selling to teenage boys fantasies towards a Real Creative Work of Art I doubt it will.… Expand
Jul 27, 2014this show blew me away. cause its a fart. it stinks. its just about dungeons and dragons playing with swords. seriously? the only character that isnt complete bull is joffrey. at least he isnt insane. unlike mr tyrone lannister. and wtf is ned stark. he is the most bland extra in the whole show. my fav main character was joffrey and that one bald guy in the episode where mr stark watchesthis show blew me away. cause its a fart. it stinks. its just about dungeons and dragons playing with swords. seriously? the only character that isnt complete bull is joffrey. at least he isnt insane. unlike mr tyrone lannister. and wtf is ned stark. he is the most bland extra in the whole show. my fav main character was joffrey and that one bald guy in the episode where mr stark watches the girl fight with the swords.… Expand
Jun 26, 2015Have people out there really understood that it’s the whole season you should rate, not the awesome title-sequence? Because it's overrated with its big focus on characters and over-scripted dialogs.
The show didn’t look action-packed or great; those were my expectations. That hypothesis did look trustworthy during the first five episodes, but the show truly escalated greatly after that.Have people out there really understood that it’s the whole season you should rate, not the awesome title-sequence? Because it's overrated with its big focus on characters and over-scripted dialogs.
The show didn’t look action-packed or great; those were my expectations. That hypothesis did look trustworthy during the first five episodes, but the show truly escalated greatly after that. To explain why this first season of the over-popular fantasy show called Game of Thrones only deserves a 6/10 we must split the season in two parts (ep 1-5 & 6-10). My first impressions were like this; it’s beautifully shot and we have wonderful characters. But what’s going on? There’s really nothing happening. Boring dialogs, a not impressive story, too much character introductions at the same time and no action at all. That’s mostly what the first five episodes got. There’s really nothing interesting going on; sure the show do need a solid plot to continue developing, but it’s so boring. Some of the episodes do have better and more interesting stories than other, but it’s overall extremely boring with all the over-scripted dialogs and lack of action.
Let’s continue with the other half. The plot is much more interesting and I really got closer to the characters. There’re even some minor intensity in form of action in some of the episodes. Unpredictable events is also another great aspect, but the show is still slow even though it got some great parts. The second half of this first season of Game of Thrones is much better than the first, much more excitement and I really got to feel the great chemistry that truly defines the show.
As the show keeps going; I get to know the characters more and more, I get closer to them and that makes med enjoy the story more, even though it’s almost as less interesting as in the first five episodes. The actors are all very talented and they all play their roles with passion. Emilia Clarke might be the only actor I got problems with. She doesn’t play her role that great when she’s under pressure. She’s too serious. But other than that are all characters and actors stunning; they all look real and they are greatly visualized. The hole show really is visually stunning (even though the CGI is vague sometimes) with wide storytelling that also is very unpredictable. The show tries hard to become something extraordinary, and it is on the way, but it totally fails when it comes to action and long-term entertainment.
The show got as mentioned; both great and less great aspects. The episodes gets better throughout this first season and they really did become “okay to watch” in the season finale. The best aspect of the show though, must be the title-sequence; it’s so awesome and inspirational with its touching music. But I’m a bit disappointed when it comes to the music in the show, it could have been much more powerful and touching as in the title-sequence. But it’s still great, and I do understand why so many out there likes this show so much; all these deep and relatable characters are incredible. But the story is too focused on the characters rather than on the bigger picture; to develop the story! But it begins to feel like all these character introductions and slower storytelling might pay off in the future, well it better be if I’m going to give a higher rating! I would for sure give the second half of this first season of Game of Thrones a 7, because it’s much more entertaining, interesting and intense.
But Game of Thrones truly is an overrated tv-show (so far), even though it got its great parts. But the story really need to develop more, not continue on this slower and characteristic boring path. My overall rating for each episode is 6.47/10.
Awards & Rankings
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.
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.