• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 17, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 2493 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. Apr 21, 2011
    10
    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.
  2. Apr 17, 2011
    10
    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
  3. Apr 22, 2011
    10
    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
  4. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    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.
  5. Apr 19, 2011
    10
    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.
  6. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    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!
  7. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    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.
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  8. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    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
  9. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    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. Collapse
  10. Apr 20, 2011
    10
    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.
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  11. Apr 17, 2011
    10
    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 :)
  12. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    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
  13. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    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.
  14. Apr 19, 2011
    10
    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
  15. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    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.
  16. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    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
  17. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    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
  18. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    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
  19. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    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.
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  20. Apr 20, 2011
    10
    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
  21. Apr 19, 2011
    9
    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
  22. Apr 23, 2011
    10
    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.
  23. Apr 19, 2011
    10
    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!
  24. Apr 19, 2011
    10
    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
  25. Apr 20, 2011
    10
    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!
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  26. Apr 23, 2011
    10
    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.
  27. Apr 23, 2011
    10
    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
  28. Apr 24, 2011
    10
    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.
  29. Apr 22, 2011
    10
    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!
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  30. Apr 21, 2011
    10
    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.
Metascore
80

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
    40
    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
    90
    The gloriously bloody and depraved spirit of the novels is intact and even enhanced.
  3. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Apr 18, 2011
    80
    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.