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.