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Game Of Thrones: Season 1

01 March 2012

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Game Of Thrones: Season 1

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When was the last time a TV show or movie, really pissed you off? Proper lying in bed enraged, turning over events in your mind. How could they do it? Why? That’s how good Game Of Thrones has been thus far, a scintillating fantasy series prepared to twist its narrative knife so deep, you too will be wounded. In the trade we call it emotional engagement.

While it may not revivify its genre quite as The Wire and Deadwood renewed theirs, there is a gutsy HBO maturity at work in David Benioff and D. B. Weiss’ naturalistic adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s heroin-addictive fantasy books. A tapestry of family grievances sprawl across a pungent Borgias-meets-the-Roses quasi-Euro battleground named Westeros. The series dances like a soap opera, a saga not a plot, good and bad points on a sliding scale. At heart, it’s the Starks (honourable, naive, brunette) versus the Lannisters (ambitious, depraved, blonde).

Martin’s skill is to keep the fantastical at a distance (undead revenants stir behind a 700-foot wall of ice, and dragon eggs accompany an exiled queen) and delight in the rich, violent, unpredictable events. As brought to life, with a tincture of the modern, by the impeccable performances. Special praise to Peter Dinklage’s sardonic dwarf Tyrion, Michelle Fairley’s Stark mother-bear Catelyn, and Sean Bean’s super-Beany silent glower as Ned Stark.

Reviewed by Ian Nathan


Game Of Thrones: Season 1 Game Of Thrones: Season 1
Released: 01 March 2012
The various solid docs carry a buoyant air of well-earned satisfaction. Of better note are the different commentary teams on seven different episodes. Benioff and Weiss recall being struck speechless by director Tim Van Patten’s (“TVP”) breathtakingly creepy prelude shot in icy, crepuscular light in the Grimms’ forest beyond The Wall that leaves the series pregnant with apocalypse. A cinematic texture was essential to the scope of this tormented world — all hail Northern Ireland, the new New Zealand. The cast vacillate between geeky adulation and ripe factoid. Those are not actual (dire)wolves but Northern Inuit dogs, Mark Addy has issues with “soap on a rope”, and never leave your bacon sandwiches within reach of Bean. Ned Stark was also known to secrete a Twix about his doublet for whenever young Starks flagged. In short, they had a ball. The splendid Lena Heady cuts through any grandiosity with the honed edge of fine British swearing. Indeed, she concocts a salty critical lexicon for Westeros analysis: Lannisters are “blonde shits”; Cersei’s relationship with brother Jamie is “twincest”; and the startling array of lusty love-making is “sexposition”. There’s little anyone can say watching Emilia Clarke, cast as Daenerys days out of drama school, being taken liberally from behind by Khal Drogo, horse lord of the Dothraki. “Lovely girl,” mutters Addy. And not a talk-track passes without praise being heaped upon Ramin Djawadi’s soul-stirring score, or as Heady elaborates over the ingenious living-map credits: “That is just fucking great.”

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Game Of Thrones: Season 1
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Game of Thrones is mint!!

I'm all for freedom of speech and opinion.... but anyone with a negative view of Game of Thrones is an idiot. (still not as good as the books though) ... More

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Posted by ZakaryFluke at 03:29, 26 June 2012 | Report This Post


Compared to other HBO series like "The Wire" or "Deadwood" "GOT" is a very poor relation - ... More

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Posted by bobbyperu at 01:36, 11 June 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Sordid violent fantasy masterpiece

Second series, in my eyes, surpasses the first. Absolutely brilliant. ... More

Posted by filmfanatic123 at 23:59, 28 April 2012 | Report This Post

Sordid violent fantasy masterpiece

Game of Thrones really is the best show on televison at the moment. It's like watching a huge game of chess played out across the land of Westeros rather than watching a swords and sorcery/quest show/film. The performances are truley extraodinary with Peter Dinkladge as Tyrion Lannister the dwarf and Sean Bean as Eddard "Ned" Stark as stand outs. almost like a political soap opera with a bit of fantasy thrown in. Just as amazing as the books ... More

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Posted by MrFrostToad at 08:09, 09 April 2012 | Report This Post

Right there with Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy for best show on television. Superb. ... More

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Posted by Turd Ferguson at 19:50, 26 March 2012 | Report This Post

Its Just That Good

I didn't get to watch this on T.V but I like watching box sets like The Sopranos or Battlestar Galactica. HBO tv series are usually of a high quality and this is the by far the most enjoyable watch I have had. I was expecting a historical epic but soon learned it was of a fantastical nature but it is also a very real and believable world and watching it feels like you are inside a book. I enjoyed so much that now I have had to go and purchase all the books from the A Song of Ice and fire serie... More

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Posted by Bighousewill at 10:55, 20 March 2012 | Report This Post

Game of thrones

Its the best thing on t.v without a doubt. ... More

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Posted by antosh25 at 02:46, 15 March 2012 | Report This Post

it's not often you get a series this confident, this clever and this cool. proceed with caution, however. it's not for the mindless masses. ... More

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Posted by TomBowler at 10:36, 14 March 2012 | Report This Post

Quite superb

Masterfully written, acted and directed. It is a gripping drama that, like Battlestar did with sci-fy, challenges the traditional boundaries of fantasy epic. You'll forget you are watching swords and sandals - it is that good. ... More

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Posted by Agegarton at 23:53, 10 March 2012 | Report This Post

Had high hopes for it and some enjoyable moments, but you have to say the scripting is rather weak and the majority of the acting atrocious! While Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage do a great job, anyone acting opposite them is immediately exposed as being can almost see them urging a better performance out of their co-stars despairingly. And if you're going to do what they do with the main guy when they do it, is it not better to focus a little more on the supporting cast...? ... More

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Posted by twmorris82 at 12:52, 09 March 2012 | Report This Post

I actually found this series quite boring and stopped watching half way through. A fantasy genre with all the good bits that make a fantasy good taken out! ... More

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Posted by fraser1978 at 15:34, 06 March 2012 | Report This Post

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