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April 15th, 2011, 07:12 PM #1
HBO's Game of Thrones (EXTREME-SPOILER THREAD!--SPOILERS FOR ALL ASOIAF BOOKS!!!))
This thread is intended for people who HAVE read ALL the books, and will contain !!!MAJOR SPOILERS!!!. I'd suggest using spoiler tags for anything past Book 1, but still... you've been warned!
Characters, storylines, twists, plotpoints, everything is up for discussion.
Episode 1 ("Winter is Coming") airs this Sunday, April 17.
(For the NON-SPOILER THREAD, CLICK HERE).
Last edited by Evil Agent; April 23rd, 2011 at 01:02 PM.
April 15th, 2011, 07:33 PM #2
It is cool to see you so stoked dude. Same way I felt when The Wise Man's Fear was released. Where would this rate on the Tool coming to town scale?
Looking forward to the first episode. Let the Game begin
April 15th, 2011, 07:48 PM #3Where would this rate on the Tool coming to town scale?
However, I have seen Tool 8 times and I've never seen this show before.
Anyways, I'm looking forward to the premiere in two days. Gonna have a little premiere party (with roasted lamb and lemon cakes!). Too bad my Game of Thrones beer steins haven't arrived yet.
April 15th, 2011, 07:50 PM #4
Oh, and from what I've heard, the first 3 episodes are the slowest (before things really start to take off). So, pretty much like all other HBO dramas.
April 15th, 2011, 08:16 PM #5
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I'm having a premiere party myself but no lemon cakes, alas. We're ordering pizza...
April 15th, 2011, 08:36 PM #6
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You guys are so lucky to have friends who are excited about the show. If I invited people over for a premiere party, which I think is awesome by the way, I would get verbally thrashed for weeks!
April 15th, 2011, 08:41 PM #7
April 16th, 2011, 12:23 AM #8
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To get back on topic...has anybody watched the five clips from the first episode that were released? Personally, it's so close now that I'd rather just wait.
Last edited by afireinside30x; April 16th, 2011 at 04:17 AM.
April 16th, 2011, 03:47 AM #9
I haven't watched the 5 clips, but I did watch the 14 minute preview.
Less than 2 days to go...!
April 16th, 2011, 04:19 AM #10
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April 16th, 2011, 12:00 PM #11
My early review of the first two episodes:
Last night I attended the premiere of Game of Thrones at BAFTA's HQ in London. Twelve years after reading the first book, sitting down to watch the first two episodes on a huge cinema screen with the actors playing Robert Baratheon, Benjen Stark, Theon Greyjoy and Viserys Targaryen sitting two rows in front of me was a surreal - but cool - experience.
Things got off to a slightly amusing start when the rep for Sky Atlantic (the new home of HBO in the UK) came out and gave a marketing spiel about the show and the channel. His statement that, "Sky Atlanic is free for all existing Sky customers," isn't completely accurate, as a commentator in the audience couldn't help pointing out: "Until August!" Once the introduction was over the traditional HBO logo came up and the first episode, Winter is Coming, began.
Generally speaking, I was impressed. The opening title sequence is gorgeous, a work of art in its own right. Basically it's a map of Westeros assembled out of blocks, like a high-resolution version of MINECRAFT, and as the camera pans to each city or castle the buildings rise up out of the map, spinning around like cogs and gears. The sequence changes every episode as well: Episode 1 focuses on King's Landing, Winterfell, the Wall and sweeps across the Narrow Sea to Pentos. Episode 2 drops Pentos and moves much further east to Vaes Dothrak. People who've seen the first six episodes confirm this continues: later episodes bring in the Eyrie, for example, and I hear that the Twins will also appear before the end of the season. The series logo appears over a seal made up of four of the sigils of the Great Houses: Stark, Baratheon, Lannister and Arryn (slightly odd choice that last one, but I suppose a falcon's head looks better than the jumping fish of Tully), whilst each actor's name is accompanied by the sigil of the house he or she belongs to.
The acting is excellent throughout. Sean Bean adds a dash of humour and warmth to differentiate Eddard from Boromir: Eddard is a much more rounded and complex character and Bean brings a solid maturity and experience to the role. However, whilst Bean has been focused on a lot, this is an ensemble show and it's surprising how long he goes without appearing (particularly in the second episode). Michelle Fairley is also excellent as his wife Catelyn, though the script has deviated from the books in softening her hard-edged political acumen to make her more sympathetic. Possibly a mistake, as it makes a decision she makes in the second episode slightly less plausible. Kit Harington is a serious but sympathetic Jon Snow, whilst Richard Madden makes the most with limited material as Robb Stark (expect him to come into his own later in the season). Sophie Turner puts in a good performance as the (at this point) air-headed Sansa, but the character suffers from losing a couple of character-establishing scenes from the book. Maisie Williams and Isaac Hempstead-Wright are both outstanding, bringing maturity and acting skills way beyond their years to make Arya and Bran compelling characters. Hempstead-Wright will break your heart in one pivotal scene in the first episode. Joseph Mawle makes the most of his short appearance as Benjen Stark, bringing 150% to the role. I remember that when he showed up in Season 2 of MERLIN he seemed to be in a different show to everyone else, with a notable focus and intensity that seemed a bit out of keeping with the camp elsewhere in the show. He's more at home here on THRONES.
In the Lannister camp, Lena Headey brings a steely cold reserve to Cersei in public, but her private scenes with her children or with her brother show flashes of warmth and humour. She has an absolutely outstanding scene in the second episode with Fairley where Cersei and Cat have a moment of common bonding as mothers. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau pretty much nails Jaime Lannister: the brash arrogance, the flamboyant disdain for others and a hint of cruel humour in his dealings with others. However, he becomes more sympathetic in his dealings with Tyrion, letting the mask slip a bit. Of course, Peter Dinklage is every bit as good as Tyrion as anyone was expecting: sardonic, witty, funny but also on occasion furious and hinting at his loneliness. His exchanges with Jon Snow are particularly good. Tyrion also has a highly memorable first scene. Jack Gleeson is effectively tosserish as Prince Joffrey, bringing a cruel streak to the role that makes you want to punch him before he even says anything. Rory McCann is much quieter and more reserved than in the books, which is a different approach though it is still hinted that he is dangerous. Mark Addy is also great as King Robert, Henry VIII as played by Brian Blessed only not quite so loud and OTT. A terrific, charismatic performance.
Across the Narrow Sea Harry Lloyd brings his eye-rolling dementedness from DOCTOR WHO (he played one of the aliens in the HUMAN NATURE two-parter) but dials it down a notch as Viserys. He's as cruel, capricious and Caligula-like as in the books, but also gets across his anger at having his throne stolen from him, as well as brieft bursts of good humour. Viserys is a more nuanced character on-screen than in the books (the only character who is improved from the novels so far). Emilia Clarke is quiet and reserved as Daenerys, as Dany herself is at this stage, but shows signs of steel and intelligence. The two episodes don't really give Dany much to do apart from hanging around naked for long periods (though Dany's first scene of the season cleverly foreshadows the last). The same is true of Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo: he's a bit of a blank slate so far. Later episodes should give him more to do. Iain Glen brings gravitas and presence to the situation as Ser Jorah, and one exchange between him and Lloyd is terrific as Glen is able to transmit a lot of what he's feeling without resorting to eye-rolling or obvious signs of bemused disgust. Unfortunately, Roger Allam, a very fine actor, seems a bit out-of-sorts as Illyrio. He does an okay job, but he has a couple of iffy moments (possibly down to his exposition-heavy dialogue).
Unfortunately, if THRONES stumbles somewhere, it's with the Dothraki scenes in the east. Whilst Lloyd and Glen get everyone to raise their game, there's still a whiff of corncheese to the Dothraki and Dany learning the 'womanly arts' from a bed slave (played by Roxanne McKee from HOLLYOAKS). Some pretty awful sex scenes push it towards TRUE BLOOD territory, not helped by the ambiguity of the Drogo-Dany relationship not being handled as sensitively as in the book, leading to some uncomfortable moments.
Taken as a whole the series gets off to a good start: exposition is balanced against drama, dialogue is pretty good and performances are strong. According to my girlfriend, it's also well-balanced for newcomers who haven't read the books, though there are a couple of moments of confusion (for example, the Mad King is referenced but I don't think named, leading to confusion between him and his son Rhaegar; both being dead when the story begins and not appearing in flashback adds to the confusion) due to this desire to reign in the exposition but also having to provide information. The effects - what there are so far - are also great, though outside of the main title the music is a bit forgettable. Possibly a bigger problem is that whilst Episode 1 works really well, Episode 2 feels less strong, possibly because everyone is journeying from Point A to Point B and it's all a bit transitory. Once Eddard is established in King's Landing and Dany in Vaes Dothrak (their bases for much of the rest of the series) that should be less of an issue.
Overall, it's good. Not outstandingly brilliant from the off, but some excellent moments and assured performances overcome the problems. It's interesting to reflect that by the end of Episode 2 many of the book's more iconic characters (Barristan Selmy, Littlefinger, Varys, Alliser Thorne, Samwell Tarly etc) haven't even shown up yet, so there's plenty left to look forward to.
April 16th, 2011, 01:21 PM #12
Thanks for the review, Wert. Must have been very surreal with the actors sitting in front of you! Can you say anything about the audience reaction? Did they laugh/gasp/applaud?
I'm also curious as to which specific scenes have been cut completely...
And lastly, I know you've only seen two episodes... but do you get the feeling that the show would have been stronger out of the gate if we had a 12-episode season rather than just 10?
Last edited by Evil Agent; April 16th, 2011 at 01:26 PM.
April 16th, 2011, 03:51 PM #13
Before I saw the episodes I thought 10 was plenty, but now I think 12 might have been a better idea just to let some scenes breathe a bit better.
To give a flavour of what scenes have been cut (spoilers obviously):
Spoiler:Robb and Joffrey trying to have a fight and Rodrik stopping it and Sandor insulting him, also the Bran/Tommen mock duel beforehand. This was filmed for the pilot, but I don't know if it was reshot. Hopefully it'll resurface on DVD. Also Barristan and Renly meeting the royal party and being charmed by Sansa; now only Ilyn Payne shows up.
So fairly minor in the grand scheme of things, but some nice little character moments anyway.
April 16th, 2011, 05:01 PM #14
April 17th, 2011, 11:28 PM #15
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Well I'm hooked.