I have been anxiously awaiting the premeire of HBO’s Game Of Thrones for a while now. Yesterday, I called up Comcast and ordered HBO, just so I could watch the 15 minute sneak-peak that aired before Mildred Pierce yesterday at 9 pm. Several early reviews of the series have been very positive; based on what I saw last night, I have no reason to doubt either of the two opinions I just linked to. This series is going to be fantastic; the fifteen minute clip showed last night flew past faster than any other fifteen minutes I’ve ever experienced. The opening scene, especially the shot of the blue-eyed wight child, was chilling and makes me wonder how the series will film a similar encounter from the second book (if it makes it that far). The acting seems great, and three scenes in particular stick out in my memory.
- Arya steals the scene in the archery yard with her hit and run bullseye. The scene does a perfect job of showing her as the rebellious, playful tomboy without her speaking a word.
- You can see the weight of duty on Eddard as he draws his sword to behead the deserter. It’s no accident that he makes the sword look so heavy.
- I really loved Jon’s words to Bran right before the execution. “Don’t look away. Father will know if you do.” Then, right after, Robb gives Bran a gentle squeeze on the shoulder and turns him away from the sight. Between this scene and the archery scene, the sense of family is really strong, and the Stark children interact with each other pretty convincingly.
I almost (almost!) wish I hadn’t watched this preview, if only because the wait for another two weeks to get the full episode will be excruciating. If you haven’t already, you should watch the preview and join me in my waiting anxiety.
I am planning on writing about the show after it premieres. However, I’m going to try a different approach with this series than the others I’ve covered here at Raked. First of all, I’m going to try to steer away from a blow by blow recap of the episode, and try to focus on specific themes or moments that really resonate. Second, as some of you may know, I am a huge fan of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels, upon which this TV series is based. I will attempt to review the Game of Thrones TV series as its own work, without any comparisons to the books. I desperately want to avoid “the book is better because the show/movie left this out” arguments that frequently pop up when fantasy or sci-fi is translated to film or television. HBO’s Game of Thrones is its own work, created in a medium that has a unique set of challenges, advantages, and drawbacks distinct from those of novels, and therefore should be evaluated without any cross-medium comparisons. If I screw up and start complaining about omissions and changes from the original book, feel free to virtually slap me back to my senses.
Only two more weeks now. Can’t wait.