Winter Is Coming
Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things
The Wolf and The Lion
A Golden Crown
You Win or You Die
The Pointy End
Fire and Blood
Adapted from the critically acclaimed books by George R.R. Martin, Game Of Thrones is a massive, sprawling fantasy epic that does a great job of adapting the epic series A Song Of Ice and Fire. The first season, depicting the events of the first book, is an incredibly well paced, politically intriguing show with realistically depicted characters and a great visual design throughout. With a slew of fully realized characters paying homage to their book counterparts, Game Of Thrones successfully adapts the first book in impressive fashion.
Set in the fictional world of Westeros, the story takes place between different regions in the world with the first season depicting the start of a war between the scheming Lannisters, and the proud Northmen known as the Starks. When King Robert (Mark Addy) enlists the aid of his trusted friend Ned Stark (Sean Bean) to be Hand Of The King, Ned reluctantly travels south to the capital, Kings Landing, with his two daughters Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sansa (Sophie Turner). Back in the Stark homeland of Winterfell, events transpire that cause war to break out between the two houses. To complicate matters further, a growing power across the Narrow Sea from the last remaining blood relatives of the previous dynasty, the Targaryens, plan to raise an army and take back power from the Lannisters. With a potential triage of wars, an ancient power north of The Wall stirs that threatens to destroy everything unless the people of Westeros can settle their differences and band together to destroy the new threat. Those unfamiliar with the books may well find themselves lost for the first few episodes as a number of characters are introduced in quick succession, the world building is full on and the battle lines are drawn.
With so much going on in terms of plot and character, Game Of Thrones could easily have crumbled under the weight of expectation but thankfully the series does the books justice with a great adaptation. With dozens of fully fleshed out characters spread across a number of different locations, the script writers manage to juggle all characters effortlessly, depicting everyone realistically and quickly establishing the character traits of each.
What really sets Game Of Thrones apart from other fantasy books and series’ out there is the way the show constantly defies and breaks conventional fantasy tropes. The heroes do villanous things, the villains constantly manage to one up and outmaneuver the good and all the while the show spins its venemous political web through every facet of the show. This interesting balance between the cost of war, the differences between the rich and poor and various hierarchies in the north and south of Westeros make Game Of Thrones such a well realized show and helps make Westeros feel like a realistic place and not just another fantasy city.
Visually, the show is outstanding too and whether it be the Undead beyond the wall or the sweeping establishing shots of the various cities, every part of Game Of Thrones feels like a living, breathing world and this, along with the well written plot line, helps the show stand out from the many fantasy shows on the market. Those with a weak heart should probably steer clear of this show though. Nudity, sex and violence are regular occurences here and some of the scenes are relentless in their depictions.
Game Of Thrones is an incredible adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic A Song Of Ice and Fire, doing the first book justice with its fully fleshed out world and incredible character work and plotting. Although those unfamilar with the books may well find themselves lost for the first few episodes as everything is introduced and put into place, once the story gets going Game Of Thrones is an unstoppable monster of a show. The shocking, genre-defying ending leaves the door wide open for the second season in a show that regularly surprises and defies all expectations in the fantasy genre.
Verdict - 8/10