By Sean Harris ’11
Winter has certainly arrived.
The premiere episode of HBO’s latest series “A Game of Thrones,” which aired April 17, is everything a rightful adaptation of the George R.R Martin books should be and more.
Epic and refreshing, “A Game of Thrones” has skyrocketed the bar for fantasy on TV to new heights. Just as a warning, the following summary might be a little overwhelming to non-fans or people who have never even heard of the books.
Lots of story is crammed into this first episode, which sees Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) playing host to his King and longtime best friend, Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy), a man whom Stark helped win the throne years ago.
Time has not been kind to Robert, who much prefers to hunt, feast and chase women, and Stark is called down to the South to be the advisor to the King.
Originally against the idea, his mind changes when he receives a letter from his sister-in-law, Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie), that informs him that the former advisor of the King was murdered; the suspects being the ambitious, crafty Lannisters, house to Queen Cersei (Lena Headey).
A chunk of the episode is also devoted to the exiled and creepy Prince Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) who plots to win back his throne by arranging a marriage between his sister, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), and a vicious warlord, Khal Drago (Jason Momoa), — a marriage that Dany is in opposition to.
The intro also hints that a sinister force known as the white walkers, previously only known as boogeymen, are once again terrorizing the world, through means of decapitation and savage butchery.
Ultimately, this first episode is just setup, and to the casual viewer it might be hard to see why fans like me are applauding the pilot.
It’s because the world of Westros has been nailed down to every single detail.
The sets are breathtaking, the acting is superb and the story doesn’t get bogged down by exposition or give the audience too little of it, in other words, making a good adaptation.
Aside from a ho-hum performance from Sophie Turner as Eddard’s bratty daughter Sansa (and true, the young actress doesn’t have a lot to work with yet,) the series barely shows any major flaws.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, a role that Dinklage fits into like a glove, bringing enough biting wit and charm to the character.
“A Game of Thrones” will need some serious money in order to get renewed for a second season, a feat which they hopefully will be able to accomplish.
It’s time for everyone to make an investment in HBO.