Tuesday, 5 March 2013
The Game of Thrones - Episode by episode
I plan to get through the two seasons before season three kicks off, which should refresh me on the happenings in the land of Winterfell and beyond, and allow me to provide a recap episode by episode here on the Archive before the third season kicks off.
This isn't silly fantasy but an epic adult story that just happens to take place in one of the most realistic fantasy worlds ever created -I use the word realistic which may seem strange when we're often dealing with dragons and magic, but the series does strive for realism and if there was a world where dragons existed and magic was practiced then this is what that world would look like. It comes across as more medieval than made up.
I've just re-watched the first episode and so here's a recap-
We learn that the Hand of the King was in fact murdered but this only makes Ned Stark determined to take the position offered and protect his king from the unknown schemers who plot against him. We soon learn that it is the Lannisters, or rather the queen and her brother Jamie who are the chief plotters against the throne, and this first episode ends with a shock when the incredibly handsome Jame Lannister (think Shrek's Prince Charming given flesh) tosses Ned Stark's ten year old son out of a tower window after the boy witnessed Jamie making love to his own twin sister who just happens to be married to King Robert. This incestuous affair is just one of many shocks in this excellent episode that sets up the world of intrigue the viewer is asked to journey through.
Despite the constraints of a TV budget no expense has been spared in terms of location shooting , giving the series a cinematic feel. Filming took place in Northern Ireland and Malta to recreate the gloom of Winterfell and the Mediterranean feel of Essos, with a variety of other locations in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
"It’s difficult to single out the most accomplished parts of Thrones. The ambition is immense, the fantasy world exceptionally well-conceived, the writing and acting elevating the entire series beyond contemporaries like The Borgias and Camelot, and the visual appeal continues to surprise with each episode." The Hollywood Reporter.
My rating for episode 1.1 - 10/10
How could I give it any less? In the duration of a single episode it manages to introduce so many different plot elements and yet never once does it lose the viewer. Sean Bean's character is set up as the lead,the character we will all identify with and Bean's performance was wonderfully nuanced. Ned Stark is a compassionate man who nevertheless can be brutally hard when his duties dictate. The scene in this episode where Ned passes judgement on a deserter from the wall chopping his head off is awesome- he who passes sentence should swing the sword, Ned Stark tells his young son, Bren. The lovable character who, so full of boyish mischief, is tossed to almost certain death at the end of this episode.
Next episode 1.2 - The Kingsroad.