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Winter is Here

This article is a follow up to our preview of Game of Thrones, which can be read here.

Generally, we hate it when books are made into TV shows.

In a previous article, I mentioned my severe hatred for books that are made into movies and TV shows. There are several reasons for this and most are unavoidable. Books have to be condensed, certain scenes are lost, characters aren’t portrayed well, oh and of course the need for artistic liberties, which is something I will never understand. Why do you need to take something that isn’t yours, with a HUGE fan base, and try to make it yours by completely changing things [See Legend of the Seeker – A new take on Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind]? So when I first heard that one of my favorite books, George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones was being made into a TV miniseries, I was pretty ticked. Then I heard that HBO was going to be doing it and I thought, “Well at least it’s the appropriate medium vs trying to stick it on the CW”. I had hope that HBO would be operating with a movie budget and that Game of Thrones would be filled with violence, sex, intrigue, and high quality actors/costumes/sets as some of their other shows are. So I decided to see if they would destroy my favorite book and waited impatiently for winter.

Winter is here. And I am pleasantly surprised.

I have always been a huge knit-picker of the Harry Potter movies and my friends waited for me to go postal on my Panasonic. I was ready – but it was really good.

For those who haven’t seen the first episode, I suggest not reading any farther as there are some spoilers.

The first episode starts with the prologue of A Game of Thrones and ends with Bran’s fall. The opening scene is fantastic: seeing the Wall in all its glory as well as our first brush with the cold ones was dead on. My second breathtaking moment was Ned in the Gods’ Wood. The set was beautiful and captured not only the beauty of the imagery but also gave it that magical touch.

Game of Thrones - Dire Wolves

The dialogue for the most part is pulled directly from the books which is what I would expect since Martin had a hand in the making and writing of the series. The characters were fantastic, though Cersei’s hair in some parts did seem wig-like and unnatural. I was very impressed with the casting and was pleasantly surprised that the actors captured and portrayed the characters perfectly. I don’t think they ever mention Theon Greyjoy’s name and yet, the moment he spoke, I knew who he was. Tyrion was fantastic – As one of my favorite characters, I wanted to know that Peter Dinklage was going to be able to catch the essence of this dynamic character. He was funny, witty, and most of all the brooding dwarf that I had always pictured.

In Pentos, the Targaryens’ were amazing. Viserys gave me goose bumps with: “You do not want to wake the dragon.” Daenrys already shows her courage and power just from stepping into the heated pool. The Dothraki culture and lifestyle was also right on the mark and made a beautiful contrast of yellows and sun against the bleak grey and white of Winterfell.

Game of Thrones - Daenerys

Sure there are a few things that can be picked at such as Danerys’ marriage to Khal Drogo is a few chapters after Bran’s fall but even this can be argued. Martin has said that several of the events that occur in the books happen at the same time so certain chapters are either different takes on one event or are occurring at the same time the previous chapter did. Another example is the scene with the dire wolf pups. In the book, Robb sees them, yet in the first episode, Ned is the one who follows the dead elk to the pups. Very small changes and for the most part, not noticeable. I eagerly await, Episode 2: “The Kingsroad” on April 24th.

Forum Thoughts

Our forum members also seemed fairly positive about the show.

Jeryn
Just watched the first episode and I’m totally hooked. I was worried they wouldn’t include the early conversation between Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister and they did, making me very happy, and they ended the first episode with the scene with Jaime Lannister and Bran Stark. “The things I do for love.” Awesome! This show is going to be the highlight of my weekends for the next few months.

I highly recommend it, and while I’m at it, I recommend the books as well.

Overlord
Watched it last night, I did thing it was a little slow in places, but I really liked the fact that they didn’t shy away from the grittiness of the book, the incestuous themes and the sex. I think ‘Game of Thrones’ is about the sick pleasures of the evil people and even the honour and love of the good people… to take away one would make the whole plot too linear in my opinion.

Certainly impressed by how close they stayed to the book and was also happy with most of the characters cast. I think the only character who seemed a little bit ‘wrong’ for me was ‘Sanza’, she seemed a little less princess-y than I imagined and I am not sure she is as ‘beautiful’ as they portrayed her in the book…but still…

dbaskls
I agree it was a bit slow but it did stick to the book well.

I watched it with my husband who hasn’t read the books and he had to keep pausing it to ask who people were and how they were related. So I do wonder if it will gain GRRM any new fans?

Rhevian
I haven’t read the book (despite having a copy borrowed from a friend) but I quite enjoyed the first episode. I may get around to reading it this month after all.

Redhead
I enjoyed it muchly, but thought they tried to cram too much into one episode. I had worried that people who haven’t read the books might be lost, but everyone I’ve talked to who falls into the “haven’t read ‘em” camp seems to have enjoyed the ep and been able to follow along just fine.

Tell us what you thought of episode one here!

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar Badfaith says:

    I really enjoyed it! The only bit I didn’t like was that Dany ‘raped’ by Khal Drogo on the wedding night – where as in the book she agrees to the act. I just think if they are staying true to the books she really love Drogo and becomes a good queen who protects her husband – I can’t see this relationship being created if that’s how their first night of marriage started.
    I can’t wait for the second one :o)

    • Not only does she agree to it she like revels in it! I was a little disappointed in regards to that… though they still portray Khal Drogo as gentle before he “rapes” her. Also, again, wasn’t it outside the tents and she was talking about the beautiful night sky?

      Ok I will agree that is now my only major beef with that episode =P

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