Game of Thrones: Season 1 Review

creators: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss

starring: Sean Bean, Lena Headey, Iain Glen, Jack Gleeson, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage

genre: Fantasy | Medieval

number of episodes: 10

originally aired: April 17, 2011 on HBO

based upon the book series: "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. R. Martin

As of the last decade, I am pleased to say that television programming has been better than ever. Programming is no longer "only" fixated at making sitcoms and conventional procedurals. Private networks set the bar high for what could be done and everyone else followed suit. HBO is still one of the best at original programming, with close competition from Showtime and AMC. Though with a show like 'Game of Thrones', it's hard to argue that there not on top of their game and with the best TV production to date.

story:

Set in the lands of the fictional Westeros and its 7 Kingdoms. Many fight for the crown and others to preserve the peace of the realm. To the north is the land of Winterfell and house of the Starks. Farther north is the great wall that protects the 7 kingdoms from ungodly creatures, myths and savages. To the west of the great lands is Casterly Rock lords are the Lannister’s. In the south at Kings Landings, the King ruler of the 7 Kingdoms is Robert of the Baratheon’s. He is married to Queen Cersei Lannister. Baratheon and Lord Stark had fought a war against the former ruler Targaryen family, who are now exiled across the narrow sea. The leftover Targaryen prince Viserys has promised his sister Daenerys to the Dothraki horde tribe leader. This is a ploy to lead an onslaught attack on the 7 Kingdoms. These are the players in the Game of Thrones and only bloodshed, power and who will sit on the throne is on their minds.

thoughts:

Where Game of Thrones stands out from other fantasy series, books or films is that it doesn’t impose on itself in those elements. It doesn’t try to be a fantasy all out series, with effects and magic and whatever else your mind can imagine. It knows where it can be different and better is in its Game of Thrones. In the petty politics of men who want the thrown and will stop at nothing to get this. This creates much tension and suspense with every episode that unfolds the plot.

It never gets boring as well, as there are many factions who want the throne, many parties that help them and even smaller players to those acts as well. The cast is huge, perfectly casted and all play an important role in the adventure of who will rule them all. Head creators Benioff and Weiss don't make the mistake that many shows succumb to with large casts. By giving too much attention to one character or equal time to all. No one is more special then the larger than life story of the 7 Kingdoms.

What personally amazes me is the books writer George R. R. Martin and his ability to create such a dense world. I would think it’s a daunting task to write any kind of fantasy literature nowadays and not find yourself to be too similar to all the glorious works of the past (Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Harry Potter). One way or another, it will be compared and even called a rip-off if your tale is not done well. In Game of Thrones case, it tells happily a much different story, very unique and multifaceted to ever put into that category.

Even though at its heart it’s a Shakespearean style drama, over lust of power. This is still fantasy TV show. There are scenes with supernatural creatures and events that speak of more fantasy elements of the world that we have yet to see. But as a first season, it doesn’t let all the cats out of the bag and ruin the mystique of the show. Much of the history of the fictional land, deals with creatures called the White Walkers and tales of Dragons. These aspects of the story, will all be played out in due time in the further seasons to come.

Creators Benioff and Weiss do a marvelous job of staying on the mark and delivering a dynamic world, with many confronting sides, an incredible atmosphere and captivating storytelling. With them accompanied are seasoned directors. All talented veterans of the TV world from shows like Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire and more. Together they took on the task and made the most realistic fantasy world to ever be seen on TV. And also the most expensive. The whole production of season 1 cost around 50-60 million dollars.

verdict:

The "Game of Thrones" is an outstanding show. It has already set itself, as the best show in its genre and as one the best shows ever made. The cast is phenomenal, comprised of known actors and talented unknowns. The production value is the best ever to be seen on television and the story alone of political turmoil and backstabbing nobility, is what makes the show perfect. Game of Thrones is the best TV show of 2011 and is the show that you should be seeing and be very much be stuck to.

Personal Rating:

review by P K

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