Based on the bestselling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, this drama is set in a world where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. From the scheming south and the savage eastern lands, to the frozen north and ancient Wall that protects the realm from the mysterious darkness beyond, the powerful families of the Seven Kingdoms arc locked in a battle for the Iron Throne. This is a story of duplicity and treachery, nobility and honour, conquest and triumph. In the Game of Thrones, you either win or you die.
Astonishingly good stuff - at least, for the boys among us!
- Game of Thrones: Series 1 review by RP
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You rated this film: 5
If you found the recent 'Hobbit' films too twee, then this might be the perfect antidote: an epic mediaeval fantasy with kings, queens, princes and princesses, knights in armour, plots and backroom machinations for the throne - and much swordplay, throat slitting, head chopping, buckets of blood, all laced with nudity, sex scenes and much f-ing and blinding. If that sounds like your thing, read on...
Based on George R. R. Martin's heavyweight fantasy book series 'A Song of Ice and Fire' whose 6 volumes run to well over 5000 pages, there is a rich amount of material available and - perhaps like 'Lord of the Rings' - the scope and scale is mind boggling. It is quite astonishing that it has made it onto the screen at all, let alone as a TV series. And it really is remarkably well made.
Set principally in the country of Westeros, whose seven kingdoms are ruled by a king who sits on the iron throne, the geography, language, people and customs are detailed, their history and heraldry fully realised. And outside the civilised (?) boundaries of Westeros lie other countries and regions and again their peoples, language and customs are fully realised. It really is surprisingly well done. If you enjoy fantasy you should watch this - 'epic' just doesn't do it justice.
Season 1 is more than an introduction, it is a fully-fledged and rounded adult adventure story that deserves its BBFC 18 certificate - it's not a kid's tale. 10 episodes, just under an hour each and I watched it in two sittings - great, gripping stuff. It is set against the background of the waning powers of king Robert Baratheon as his scheming queen plots to consolidate the power of House Lannister and place her young son on the throne, overthrowing the king's right hand man, Eddard Stark. This Season belongs to Sean Bean as Eddard (Ned) Stark but covers so much ground that you may have trouble keeping up with the characters and family names. And it has a surprise ending...
Of course, you might dismiss it all for what it is - fantasy - but then this is what cinema deals in and the advantage of a major TV series is that it has the time to devote to such a complex tale, rather than within the constraints of a 2 hour film.
Filmed in N Ireland with locations in Malta, Iceland, Spain, Morocco and Croatia, the actors speak 'proper' English (rather than American) and even this is well realised, with recognisable northern accents for people from up t' north. And if you're overwhelmed by the characters, among the extras on the discs is fairly comprehensive background material together with details of the geography.
This is astonishingly good stuff - at least, for the boys among us! 5/5 stars.
A highly promising start
- Game of Thrones: Series 1 review by MD
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You rated this film: 4
The first season of Game of Thrones requires a bit of persistence early on. We are suddenly introduced to a huge number of characters, and it is a little hard to follow at times. However, by about the fifth episode, the characters have been more fleshed out, and the pace starts to quicken. The second half of the season is simply stunning. There are moments that really tug at your heartstrings, and will stay with you forever. One criticism I would have is how graphic the series can be at times. It can be argued that this is not necessary, although I understand that the writers may have been trying to portray the harsh realities of these characters' lives, rather than sugar-coating them. On the whole, Game of Thrones is a highly intelligent and heart-centred story with an exquisite soundtrack.
Not that good
- Game of Thrones: Series 1 review by PN
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You rated this film: 1
Was looking forward to this as have heard so much about it, but was very disappointed. While the production values were very high, the script was full of cliches and the acting for the most part was pretty wooden. I won't be bothering with the rest of the series.
HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ is based on George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series of novels titled ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’, about different families and kingdoms that are hell-bent on overthrowing each other to rule for eternity.
For Season One, ‘Game of Thrones’ focuses on the story of the Starks led by the head of the family, Lord Eddard ‘Ned’ Starkk (Sean Bean). He lives in Winterfell with his entire family, wife Catelyn and children Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. His bastard son Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) has also been in his care. When King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) and his wife Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) of Westeros pay a visit to their humble home, Lord Stark is invited to become The Hand of the King, a direct confidante and advisor, as he used to be to his late father. Loyal and honorable, Lord Stark agrees and travels with King Robert back to his kingdom.
Although he is already king, Robert knows anytime that there’s imminent threat especially from the different families, including his wife’s, the Lannisters, and the Targaryens who were the rulers before the Baratheons. Lord Stark investigates the movements of all other threats, finds solutions to the kingdom’s financial problems, and even discovers a betrayal and secret that could ruin King Robert. This has the potential to change the course of history and the lives of the once-peaceful life of the Starks.
Faithful to author George R. R. Martin’s first in a series of novels, ‘Game of Thrones’ proves to be filled with many related stories and characters. Fans of the show have their own favorites among the royals and commoners – but a word of caution: Don’t get too attached. If there’s one thing Martin knows, life is unpredictable and so are the story arcs of his many characters.
‘Game of Thrones’ has gained a great fan base and even critical acclaim. It has won many awards especially for Peter Dinklage, who plays the smart and endearing dwarf, Tyrion Lannister. The HBO series is a fantasy soap opera but with quality production set in wondrous locations.