- Summary: The series is based on George R.R. Martin's novel about a fantasy world where royal houses battle for the Iron Throne.
- Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy
- Show Type: In Season
- Season 1 premiere date: Apr 17, 2011
- Episode Length: 60
- Air Time: 09:00 PM
- More Details and Credits »
100Though some of the visual cues will be very familiar to fans of "Lord of the Rings" or even "The Tudors," Game of Thrones quickly finds that rare alchemy of action, motivation and explanation, proving, once again, that the epic mythology remains the Holy Grail of almost any medium.
80A 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.
60For the nongeeks among us, watching HBO's sprawling new fantasy drama Game of Thrones is the epic TV version of trying to sort out the Middle East. That doesn't make it a bad show, and certain elements like the production can be savored by all.
10Game 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!… Expand
After two or three episodes of jolting twists and betrayals, the first season of HBO's Game of Thrones came to a (mostly) subdued close last night with dozens of plot threads still left hanging. But you can't really fault the show for that; the season ended almost exactly as the first novel did, covering almost exactly what the novel covered. It is in fact such a faithful adaptation of the books, that long-time fans of George R.R. Martin's series will always know exactly what's going to happen next. For those who haven't read the novels, however, Game of Thrones serves as an excellent introduction to this compelling historical fantasy.
See my full review here: http://boredomsadvocate.blogspot.com/2011/06/review-game-of-thrones-season-1.html… Expand
The first episode started VERY slowly, but it absolutely picked up, and it teased some really interesting conflicts to be explored in coming episodes. At one point, though, I figured I had accidentally recorded the porn parody Game of Thrones: Doggy Style. I initially featured it might be tough to follow the various storylines, but like The Wire, I'm willing to let some of it develop in a deconstructed fashion as we go. This "7" may well jump up a point or two by mid-season, I suspect.… Expand
Coming 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
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