Game of Thrones: Season 1: Episodes 1 & 2

Finally saw the first two episodes of the first season of Game of Thrones last night. I was kinda disappointed. I was really looking forward to Peter Dinklage as Tyrion, and he did not let me down. I was riveted whenever he was on the screen. When he wasn't… not so much.

(Note: if you like Dinklage and have not seen The Station Agent, go see it now.)

It's hard to see exactly where it goes wrong. It looks great at first glance — beautiful and richly textured. But there's a cheapness to the design, a lack of attention to detail. We see the interior of two palaces, but they don't look much different from each other. Similarly, the clothing and hairstyles and jewelry don't do much to distinguish between different classes and functions of people. I feel like I ought to be able to tell at a glance who is a member of the King's party, and who is a Winterfell resident, and I can't. I ought to be able to instantly tell Lord Stark's bastard son from his eldest legitimate son, and I can't. The dragon eggs should look gorgeous and ominous, and they don't.

The amount of story chosen for each episode seemed good, but I still thought the scripts were weak. Or maybe it was the direction. Or the casting. Or the acting (of everyone except Peter Dinklage). Whatever it was, I didn't get a strong sense of character or emotion at any point. Everything just seems very serious and slow and heavy with Medieval solemnity. And yet the sense of mystical foreboding from the book doesn't really come across, and several scenes that should be suspenseful or exciting simply aren't.

Probably my biggest disappointment is the queen and her non-dwarf brother, because they are the villains and they are awful and I should hate them with all my soul. Instead… they seem kinda like everyone else. Very serious and dreary and Medieval.

So, I''ll probably keep watching, but I'm not running out to rent disk 2 right this second. To those of you who've seen the whole series, does it get better? Or is this pretty much it, and if it's not really working for me now, it never will?


  1. Well, I’m about to start watching it, so I’ll let you know.
    Also, you should check out Living in Oblivion. Peter Dinklage’s role is small but memorable.

    1. Author

      I will check that out!

      I would probably go down his IMDB page and just see everything he’s in… except that I hated-hated-HATED the way his character was treated in Elf, so that makes me wary.

      Seriously, have you seen Elf? It’s… appalling. Apparently it’s hilarious when short people get mad at tall people. And also talented short people deserve to have their ideas ripped off by the protagonist, because they actually get mad at the protagonist when he acts like a jerk, instead of falling in love with him like everyone else in the damned film does for no obvious reason.

  2. I have the box set and have watched all but the last two episodes so far. It does keep that serious tone with the typical over the top HBO sex and violence. I would say give it a chance as with any tv series, the more you watch, the more you become invested in the characters.

    The last episode I saw was written by the author and it shows in Tyrion’s dialogue and how much is true to the book. Peter Dinklage is the reason to keep coming back (although his father as played by Charles Dance is truly sinister in a rather reserved way). Don’t give up on it as the more fantastical elements start to appear later in the series and that foreboding that was lacking at the start begins to seep in. My wife has not read the books yet but she is enjoying the series so far but she did find it hard to get into at first even though she’s a Lord of The Rings fangirl.

    1. Author

      Peter Dinklage is the reason to keep coming back

      Well, I’m sold.

      1. Great lines to look forward to:

        Shaggar: How would you like to die, Tyrion, son of Tywin?
        Tyrion: In my own bed, at the age of 80, with a belly full of wine and a girls mouth around my cock.

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