The highly anticipated adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones arrived on HBO last night.  The premiere episode and entire season have been surrounded by hype and controversy, as some decry it nothing but fan-boy filth, while other say it is brilliant on every single level.

A Game of Thrones is the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of epic fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin. It was first published on 6 August 1996. The novel won the 1997 Locus Award, and was nominated for both the 1998 Nebula Award and the 1997 World Fantasy Award. The novella Blood of the Dragon, comprising the Daenerys Targaryen chapters from the novel, won the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Novella.

The novel lends its name to several spin-off items based on the novels, including a trading card game, board game, and roleplaying game. In November 2009 HBO completed filming of a pilot episode for the television adaptation. This was followed by a ten-episode full season, due to air in April 2011.

On 2 January 2011 the novel finally became a New York Times bestseller, hitting the paperback list at #25.

Did you see it? We want to know what you thought of high fantasy debut episode.


The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. MarkW
    April 18, 2011 at 8:00 am — Reply

    I thought it was really well done. A little slow, but so is the source material at that point in the story. Almost all of the protrayals seemed dead on, other than Jamie. The actor did a fine job for the most part, but he just doesn’t carry himself like the most dangerous man in every room he’s in.

    The most impressive thing was how much of the book they kept in. They spent a lot of time setting up future seasons, rather than just simplying it down to Starks vs. Lannisters. Though they kind of had to if they wanted more than one season, unless they totally went away from the source material.

  2. litanyofthieves
    April 18, 2011 at 10:45 am — Reply

    It was incredibly well-done, and the opening title sequence was probably one of the best I’ve ever seen. The sets and visuals were incredible, especially the White Walkers at the beginning – and they were used just enough to catch attention, without being over-exposed yet.

    The performances were great all around, even the child actors were completely believable as the Stark Children, and the visuals were just stunning. They worked in a lot of exposition without it feeling TOTALLY shoehorned (Though they had to cover a lot) and they really got the essence of each character presented well.

    I had a few small problems, mostly personal stuff – I was watching it with people who hadn’t seen the book, and I was definitely asked a few questions. However, they were questions I had when I started reading the book, and I know some of them will be explained, so maybe that’s not such a big deal. There were also a lot of minor characters (Jory Cassel, Theon Greyjoy) who didn’t actually get an introduction, and since some of them play a bigger part later on, maybe they’ll still get introduced.

    I felt Viserys was portrayed as a bit too clownish in parts. Harry Lloyd nailed the spoiled, entitled part, but I felt he did a little too much of a “voice” that went over the top at parts, and made the character less believable.

    Some of the nudity felt a bit gratuitous and out of place, especially when in other parts characters were fully clothed when they should have been nude. Obviously HBO wants to attract an audience with their first episode, and nudity is a simple way of doing it, but sometimes it felt wierd and off kilter, like “Ok, obligatory HBO tits and ass shot, now that that’s out of the way, back to the story.”

    From a writing standpoint, there was only one thing I could fault the show on; (SPOILERS AHOY!) They changed the Wedding Consummation Scene, which was unfortunate, because what I liked about Khal Drogo was that dual nature; in the book he was presented as this Brutal, powerful warlord, but when he took Dany to bed he was loving and considerate. It really made his character more interesting, and I hope they’ll bring that into play later, instead of just making him a “Brutal Savage”.

    Other than that, there were a million good things. Mark Addy has brilliant comedic timing, but he can turn around and play the tragic side of Robert Baratheon with pathos and realism. Lena Heady is incredibly good at playing Cersei, and choosing to end the episode where they did was perfect. Did I mention how beautiful it all was? The costumes are awesome, the sets are awesome, everything.

    I’m going to keep watching.

  3. GeorgeDubya
    April 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm — Reply

    I have to say, the actors did an AMAZING job at capturing the characters. Hell, the first two seconds Joffrey was on screen made me hate the character all over again, and all he did was smirk.

    I agree that the wedding consumation scene was poorly changed. I would have liked if it had stayed more in line with the original version. I also disliked the visuals of Brand on the rooftop and climbing, but knowing what I do about the series, I can live with how hokey it looked because we won’t be seeing it again.

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