inally got around to watching the first episode of ‘Game of Thrones’, the highly anticipated HBO show based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. Even before the show was first aired, there was tons of controversy about it, based on the most ridiculous review I ever had the displeasure of reading. It’s particularly insulting to know that the author Ginia Bellafante completely discarded the huge segment of women who enjoy fantasy, because A Song of Ice and Fire is boy fiction. The worst part might probably be that despite the outcry of people insulted by her review that didn’t actually review the show, the author still doesn’t understand why people are upset.
I have read the books multiple times, and actually prepared for the show by re-reading just a couple weeks before the show started. I will try to loosely recap the show here in my blog. Not as a detailed by-play of every scene, like many recaps do, but things that I found notable.
Gorgeous theme. I am a huge sucker for maps. It’s one of my fantasy shticks. If I flick through a book in a store, the inclusion of beautiful maps will make it more likely that I purchase a book. I thought the theme was very interesting, with the maps, the sigils of the main families of the books, the gears. Nicely done. If you haven’t seen it, HBO has made it available on YouTube.
I went away from this episode with being happy of two things. The casting is very tight. I thought many characters seem exceptionally good fits. Amongst the best were Ned Stark, Jon Snow, Jaime Lannister, Theon Greyjoy and Bran Stark. Those characters immediately worked for me. Tyrion Lannister was good, but not a 100% fit for me, and I don’t know how I feel about Cersei yet. She doesn’t seem vindictive enough. Maybe that’ll come into play later, but she seemed too nice somehow. Still, overall the casting was very convincing to me. Immediate dislike of Theon Greyjoy and Joffrey Baratheon, heh.
The other thing I was happy about was that they really stick closer to the book than other book adaptations. There were certainly moments that didn’t match the book completely, but the general feeling of it was that they’re going to follow the book to a T. I don’t know why Tyrion got a gratuitous whorehouse scene, but then, they might touch on his personal history with whores in the near future.
I wonder why they made all the Stark kids older across the board. It looked like every single one of them is two years older than in the book. Speaking of Stark Kids, I thought Bran was so adorable. He won my heart over immediately. I liked the hints we got of Arya, but there was definitely not enough Arya in the show this week. I think everyone who’s read the books probably likes Arya and Tyrion best, they’re fan favorites, and deservedly so. She is the character I am most excited about. Also, need to see more pups. Weren’t they adorable?
For an HBO show, there was little sex. Anyone remember the first episode of S1 True Blood? That was pornolicious, and I was happy Game of Thrones wasn’t. I am however not sure why every single sex scene so far included doggy-style. It only makes sense for the Dothraki, because that is what they do. Didn’t make sense for…well, not spoiling it, but it didn’t make sense for me in the final scene. Unnecessary change from the book.
Now that I mentioned the Dothraki, that was probably the most disappointing stuff of the first episode. Viserys was lacking the crazy, Illythio didn’t look anything like I imagined him. Where was the yellow forked beard? He wasn’t even really fat. And the Dothraki didn’t look like specific people, they looked like random extras. I expected them to look more Mongolian, or at least more exotic than they did. I have high expectations of Danaerys. I like her storyline very much. I want her to grow into the powerful Targaryen lady she is. They depicted her weaker than she was in the book, in the wedding scene, and I hope that won’t be a continuing trend. I thought the Targaryens looked very good, but seriously, Viserys needs more crazy. My dear friend Ria told me that the thing that bothered her most was that they didn’t dye Emilia Clarke’s brows enough, that they were too dark. That’s first world girl problems for you in fantasy, I tell ya. 😉 Just for Ria I made a screencap of the brows too.
Overall, I am happy, and also glad to hear that they already got renewed for Clash of Kings. It’s so rare that you get to see fantasy that’s well done. How did you folks enjoy the show? Disappointed or pleased? Indifferent or confused?