I know I’m a little bit behind with a review of the series or at least the opening of the series and this has been down to a few factors. The first being that I had family over for Easter, when the series opened and after asking them if they were interested in seeing the first episode were given a less than emphatic response (yes, there has been talk of disownment, which is still on going).
I then became ill and decided to catch up on a few of the other series I’ve been following (Fringe, Supernatural, The Event) before settling down to this one.
And yes, let’s come out and say it, I was completely anxious about it all. I pointedly missed every trailer out there and skimmed over any blog posts mentioning the thing, lest I upped the anxiety. I mean this is probably my favourite fantasy series ever written (Katherine Kerr’s Deverry series its only real contender) and the thought of them not doing it justice was a little too much for me.
Yes I know that George R. R. Martin is one of the executive producers and from what I had read he was very satisfied with the result but…
The but is that the book may well fulfil his (Martin’s) interpretation of the book but he’s only the author after all and we see the book differently.
I need not have worried.
My saving grace before putting episode one on was that HBO have been responsible for some of my favourite TV over the last few years: Carnivale, Dexter, and Deadwood to name three of the best. However, even with this pedigree behind the show, I was shocked by how well the cast fit my picture of the characters in the book. The two farthest away from how I pictured them would be Eddard Stark (Sean Bean), pictured above, and his bastard son, Jon Snow. The others are freakishly alike for words.
As the books ebb and flow so do my favourite characters and my favourite two this early on are: Tyrion Lannister (the imp) and Arya Stark, daughter of Eddard.
All dwarves are bastards in the eyes of their fathers
Tyrion is the wily, intelligent, cunning, disreputable member of the Lannister family, making him instantly one of the most likeable characters in both the book and TV series and Peter Dinklage captures him excellently. There’s much I admire about Tyrion in the book but will keep from giving any spoilerage for those who have not read the book.
Arya (Maisie Williams) is the Stark brat, the girl who won’t be a girl, more intrigued by the sounds of archery outside than focusing on her needlework indoors. Arya sets off a massive chain of events very early on (episode two) and is a very interesting character, possessing many qualities that most of the knights of the seven kingdoms would be proud to have.
The first episode deals with a lot and deals with it well, beginning and ending with two very powerful and significant events in the first book. I was riveted for the whole hour by the dialogue, the authenticity, the feeling and overall devotion to the words penned by Martin.
Winter may be coming but I just hope that HBO have the sense to follow this series through the whole story (even though, I, myself am a little bit anxious about how they will pull off the fourth book, A Feast for Crows).
Read the books, watch the TV series, it’s really that simple!