Thoughts on Game of Thrones, episode 1, season 1
I know, I’m late to the party, but I’ve decided I should check out Game of Thrones. The first episode got my wheels turning, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the phenomenon via my outsider’s perspective.
I live on earth, so I’m aware that Game of Thrones is a fantasy series on HBO revolving around a preindustrial society and some sort of game… of thrones. Oh, and I know Sean Bean dies at some point, but that’s no surprise. If you’re unfamiliar with Sean Bean’s career, SPOILER ALERT: he always dies in nearly every role he plays.
So yeah, not exactly a spoiler for me as I’m well aware that people cast Sean Bean in stuff because he’s awesome at dying. Seriously, it’s not easy to die – I had to die on stage one time and, not being much of an actor, I spent the three months leading up to the show figuring out how to do it, and I really only nailed it once.
Anyway, if I could sum up the one hour first episode in a single word, it would probably be
‘unnecessary.’ Before I dig into what I mean by this, I should say that it’s not fair to judge a show based on its first episode, which has to set up a lot and the cast and crew is still getting their footing while at the same time, they need to grab the audience’s attention… but it all seemed so unnecessary.
That opening scene didn’t so anything for me. At all. THe jump scares, the disappearance of the bodies… I hope that’s setting something up for later. I just didn’t understand it. I really could have used some exposition in that scene. This is just a specific gripe with
On a more general note, the nudity, gore and violence didn’t especially bother me, but they all seemed to be presented in a way that was unnecessary. It felt like a bunch of people sat around a table and agreed that the audience for fantasy loves boobs, blood and fighting… and they’re not wrong, we do love those things, but I felt like I was getting beat over the head with it and the effect of these things were losing their effect. Maybe this is just how the book is, and adaptation is a tricky business, but by the time you get to that last scene with the doggy style castle sex, it’s kinda like, “Again?” No, not kinda – I actually said out loud, “Again?”
Also, this show loves it’s foreshadowing. It seemed clear they are setting a ton of things up for the future, which, of course, is important to sustain the story in a reasonable way, but again, I felt like they were beating me over the head with everything. Just one example: the mom’s scene with the son regarding climbing all over the castle, and then Sean Bean looking at him for a long time before he left… as soon as he starts climbing, you knew he was dead.
Look, I didn’t hate the first episode and I am going to check out episode 2, but this didn’t exactly blow me away… but, rather, I guess it did kinda fascinate me. I can’t tell if I’m in it for the long haul yet, but I’m certainly going back into the fray. Game on, Game of Thrones!