MMO Gamer Chick has posted her 10 Random Thoughts About “Game of Thrones” Season 1. Instead of replying there with what would undoubtedly be something I would also want to post here, I’m replying here. So if anyone is confused, go read her entry first. Go, read.
Done? Good, here goes.
I came into this series having not read the books. In fact I have yet to crack open the first book because I am still working on catching up on other series. So my impressions are purely on the series itself though with a hint of things that my wife passed on after she started reading the books. I do try to have her contain her spoilers but sometimes her enthusiasm exceeds her restraint.
#1, casting. I have to agree. Every character felt real. The only actor I was familiar with was Mark Addy from “A Knight’s Tale.” I loved his performance in that movie and his time as the Robert was no less enjoyable. Sean Bean’s portrayal as Ned cemented his name and face in my memory. While I had watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the theaters I didn’t much care for it and didn’t recognize him as Boromir. Odd since Boromir uttered what has proven to be the most meme worth line of those movies. For me, the season was stolen by Tyrion Lannister. Every scene with Tyrion was a treat. Peter Dinklage’s performance of George R.R. Martin’s dialogue is perfection.
#2, presenting the multiple stories clearly. Again, agreed. As someone who hasn’t read the books I had absolutely no problem at all following what was happening. Not only was it possible to keep the different threads of the story separate it was possible to also see how they were still connected. There were a few minor incongruities but no series has ever been without them.
#3, presenting some things a tad clearer. I actually can’t speak to that because I don’t know what I am missing. What I can say, however, is that I don’t feel like I am missing anything. Like in the example given, Jaime being called Kingslayer, what was presented is enough for me to understand why he, and others, would react so.
#4, pacing. Hm, I think this might have more to do with the fact that they had only 10 episodes to work with. Normal television series get 20-24 episodes per season. I am not sure what is standard for other cable series. Well, I think Dexter is 10 or 12 as well.
#5, elements of the show. What I like is that the story isn’t tethered to young adult sensibilities like many other stories set in fantasy worlds are. As my wife describes it in other fantasy series adults would blush at a simple kiss. Here adults are adults. I don’t mean just in terms of sexual content but all emotion, all experiences are treated honestly.
#6, sets, costumes & props. Agreed. They struck a great balance of having a beautiful world and one that could or would be real. There is color but outside of King’s Landing & the Dothraki they are muted.
#7, the opening sequence. I loved it from the first episode. The music is excellent. The martial drums backing up the sorrowful music hint at the story you’re about to be told. The visuals appear simple but have a complexity all their own. I also wonder if it hints at the world view of the people of this world. The map itself is concave, as if the world were on the inside of a sphere. The sun appears in to be in the middle of that sphere (Dyson Shell, anyone?).
#8, loyalty to the source. I have no way to judge this outside of what my wife says and does. We’ll watch some scene and she’ll comment later, “That is exactly how it happened in the book!” Other times she will utter a key line right before the actor on screen delivers the exact same line. This second action often gets a scowl from me since I am so rabidly anti-spoiler. She tends to do that, spoil something seconds before the show (or book I am reading) reveals it. However from what I understood there is a reason why it is so loyal to the source. Everything involving the story is run past George R.R. Martin. He’s listed as co-executive producer of the first episode and he wrote the eighth episode. So unlike most other adaptations the changes made to adapt the story to the limitations of the screen are blessed by the creator of the story. Can’t get much more loyal than that.
#9, events as they unfolded. Yeah, me too. ‘cept I didn’t know what was coming (aside from Winter). My scowls at my wife are effective on the big things. 🙂
#10, can’t wait for Season #2. The only saving grace between now and then is that Season #2 of “The Walking Dead” will help pass the time. I’m sure the importance of that will diminish since tonight is when we get to watch episode #10. Oh, and I’m sure this will be one of the series that we purchase on DVD/Blu-Ray as soon as it comes out.