I have to admit that when I heard about Game of Thrones I was not familiar with the series of books, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, that it is based on nor did I think it would become the phenomena that it has. It took some time for me to sit down and watch the first season (mostly because of HBO’s infamous delay in releasing the season on DVD) but I was not disappointed.
Game of Thrones takes place in a once magical medieval type fictional world populated with a huge array of characters. Most of these characters want to sit on the Iron Throne and be crowned Lord of The Seven Kingdoms.
It is because of the huge number of characters that the series was a little slow to take off. It wasn’t until the fourth episode that they story line really takes off and it isn’t until the seventh episode that there is a battle. But like other great television series (The Wire, Lost, The West Wing, etc.) it’s not the action. It’s the interactions, the intrigue, and the character development.
And like those other shows the acting is amazing. There are many people who have starred in other programs and movies but the acting is so good that it is easy to forget that you have seen the actors before. Sean Bean, as Ned Stark and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion are most notable. Also among the great actors are relative newcomers such as Emilia Clarke as Daenerys and Kit Harington as Jon Snow.
The show does have a lot of sex (including non-consensual and incestuous) and nudity at a level that some people would consider gratuitous but in a world where lineage, heredity and male dominance is the reason for battles it is important to include these scenes.
My one complaint is that with the many different groups and alliances there are so many different ways the characters refer to each other. Family name, relations, kingdom, geography, clan, sigil, titles, even hair color. It just gets overly confusing at times. But this is such a minor complaint and everything is done so well that I was just able to accept it and go with the flow of the story.
After watching this I can’t wait to watch the second season. I might just have to start reading the books to scratch the itch that the first season left me with.