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Nerds of the Round Table

For all things good and nerdy

Game Of Thrones Initial Opinion

I just happen to have HBO.  Not really by design, but it is part of a package deal that I get from Comcast for a manageable deal.

As such, I have had the pleasure of getting to see Game of Thrones, and I must say I am impressed in spite of a few flaws.  Over all, Game of Thrones is a strong series with plenty of grit and spirit to go for a few seasons.  Every character has a dark side, imperfections, and ambition.  “Good guy” is only a loose concept.  I am hesitant to say this with only 4 episodes out, but the flavor of drama reminds me of Battlestar Galactica.  In most cases, they do an excellent job of telling a story without explaining it to you.  It takes some intelligence and basic reasoning to really understand the show.  Every cast member brings their full strength to their character.  Even in the few episodes we have so far, you can already easily identify character growth and surprises.

Game of Thrones - The Iron Throne.  Forged by a dragon from the swords of the vanquished kings of old.

As for the flaws, and you might disagree with me on this, there are a few major ones.  The pacing of the story feels stuttered.  The amount of time that passes between scenes is irregular and often undefined.  For example, episode two actually spans around 2 months or so in story time: a trip from Winterfell to King’s Landing takes one month.  Some background information could be more easily spelled out, such as the fact that summer and winter are each several years (even decades) long.  Finally, and some guys will complain I bring this up, the nudity can get more distracting than proving a point.  I have no problem with topless women and my wife didn’t take issue with it, but if you are not expecting it (as we weren’t), then you are taken a little aback by the flaunting of boobs in several scenes.

Finally, if you are considering getting into the series or have already watched it up to date, you should check out HBO’s Viewer’s Guide.  You can download a PDF that contains all the house and lineage information, or you can view it online and get the addition of an interactive map, history, and supplemental information.  I didn’t find the guide until after the 4th episode, but it still helps understand all the organization and clears up a few details about the world’s history.  Read it online or download the PDF at http://www.hbo.com/#/game-of-thrones/inside/extras/extras/viewers-guide.html/.

Bottom Line: I will be going out of my way to catch each episode, but I probably will watch it on demand sometime in the week rather than nights.

– Ferg

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2 responses to “Game Of Thrones Initial Opinion

  1. Ellen May 15, 2011 at 8:42 am

    The fact that Summers and Winters usually last for several years actually has been outlined, in episode 3 I think. Alliser Thorne and Tyrion are having a conversation in which Thorne asks Tyrion how many Summers he’s seen, and they do mention how long the Summer they are in has lasted, and also, I think, Tyrion mentions the length of a long Summer in his childhood, and Thorne predicts that the coming Winter will be very long and harsh. Forgive me if these details are inaccurate, as this is off the top of my head, but I definitely recall that this particular conversation clarified the issue of season lengths.

    • Ferg May 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Your details are not inaccurate, but they do line up with my point, I believe. Unlike some shows, the significant theme (“Winter is coming”) was not really revealed until episode 3. Even then, it was not directly narrated to the audience, but rather it needed to be inferred from a dialog. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but I know some people who will stop watching a show or put down a book if it doesn’t clearly outline the characteristics of the world within a couple of chapters or episodes. Also, it takes a fairly competent person to be able to watch and understand everything in these conversations.

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