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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Game of Thrones - First three episodes

Not having read the George Martin books upon which this series is based, I can't say how faithful it is but as a small screen spectacle I can say that it's another great series from HBO. There was a time when the UK used to produce the best English language drama in the world but these days it is the Americans who have all the best shows - Sopranos, Deadwood, Battlestar Galactica, Band of Brothers, The Walking Dead and now this, adaptation of the well regarded fantasy series.

Now this fantasy is so immense, so epic that the first three episodes are mostly exposition as we are introduced to a world as big as anything Tolkein created. And by the end of these episodes, the viewer is eager for the pay offs that have now been set up.

We are briefly introduced to the sinister White Walkers in the first episode, before being launched into a well realised fantasy world, and told the White Walkers no longer exist, that they perished long ago. We are told, by Sean Bean, in great form as Ned Stark, that winter is coming and in this world winter can last a lifetime. Bean's character is a great lead, a man of true compassion and  strength. And he and his family are the main focus of the first trio of episodes, as we witness the strength of the power hungry Lannister family growing around them. Murder, intrigue, adultery and heroics combine in this excellent series.

It all look wonderful and some of the landscapes scenes are brilliant and wouldn't look out place in a big screen movie. The production values are all of the high standard we've come to expect from HBO as is the writing and acting.

Make no mistake - this is high quality, intelligent, adult tele-fantasy.


Davieboy said...

Thanks for that review Gary & I think you nailed it.
Now trust me, I'm here aren't I? I really enjoy your books and most of the stuff you write about. So believe the hype, A Song of Ice & Fire is simply awesome and immense, to the point that it almost ruins everything else, certainly in its field. I've read and re-read, listened and re-listened. The beauty is that is just gets better and better. The HBO series is as good as we could have hoped for in our wildest dreams, but of course can't live up to the written words. Take my advice, see out the series (ha, as if you could stop now!), then pick up volume 2 "A Clash of Kings" and continue...
I always think the series is analagous to Star Wars - the first film was amazing, but the second made it epic.... the difference here is that the third book goes beyond epic!
Yes, I'm a fan....

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Davieboy - I picked up A Game of Thrones today -a lovely looking HBO tie-in edition and I plan to start reading it soon.