Thursday, 4 August 2011

Game of Thrones episode 1

I finally got around to watching the first episode of Game of Thrones recently. This is the HBO epic fantasy drama that was made in Northern Ireland last year. It's a bit odd to think it was made where I live and not Vancouver or Prague. (I've read that some of season two was shot at Downhill Strand a week or two ago. That's just up the road from me.)

Anyway I enjoyed the first episode very much. There's not a lot of fantasy elements as such. To me it feels a litte more like Dune in the sense that you have different families, or houses as they are called, vying for power and influence. Sean Bean plays Lord Eddard Stark who guards the colder lands to the North on behalf of the king. The northern border is marked by the Wall, a vast man-made ice barrier that was built to keep something out.

There is a lot of back story to this tale. Some years previously the reigning Targaryen king was deposed and his family slaughtered. Across the sea Viserys Targaryen plots to be returned to the throne and marries his sister Daenerys off to the warlord Khal Drogo to gain an army. I felt very sorry for poor Daenerys as played by Emilia Clarke. I'm particularly interested in seeing how her story plays out.

The episode has a shocking ending but I won't give it away. Lets just say that some of the Lannister family are quite nasty people.

There are a few "naughty bits" in the episode, but it didn't feel like HBO were including them for the sake of it. It always felt important to the character and plot development.

I bought the tie-in edition of the novel a while back and finally got reading some of it. In fact I had pretty much read the material that was covered by the first episode. So what I'm going to try to do is read the book just ahead of each episode. I think I've covered the material of the second episode so I'll treat myself to watching it very soon!

Worth mentioning is the opening credits sequence. The music is memorable and the animation of the castles and landscape is pretty unique.  Here's a youtube video but it doesn't really do it justice. You need to see it on a widescreen TV with the volume up.