986 of 1,007 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Song of Ice and Fire: Part 1
Here it is then. the long awaited television interpretation of the first part of George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series. This show will affect you in different ways depending largely upon two possible scenarios, 1. you have read the book(s) beforehand, or 2. you haven't.
If you have read the books then you will have the added advantage of going into this...
Published on 8 Dec 2011 by Pankow27
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts and ends well, but soggy in the middle.
Game of Thrones has been getting rave reviews so I thought I better give it a try. I can't say I am a huge fan of fantasy, though I love,LOTR. But then GoT doesn't involve much fantasy, (at least not in series one) which is mainly a fairly grittily portrayed dark ages/ medieval court drama albeit in an imaginary world.
But is it as good as claimed? Not for me...
Published 2 months ago by Lendrick
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986 of 1,007 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Song of Ice and Fire: Part 1,
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This review is from: Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD]  (DVD)Here it is then. the long awaited television interpretation of the first part of George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series. This show will affect you in different ways depending largely upon two possible scenarios, 1. you have read the book(s) beforehand, or 2. you haven't.
If you have read the books then you will have the added advantage of going into this series with some serious background knowledge, which, given the expanse of Martin's literature, can only be a good thing. It is good (as a fan of the books) to see the characters portrayed on screen by, what can only be described as, an excellent cast. My personal favourites are Sean Bean (fellow Yorkshireman like myself) who plays Lord Eddard Stark, the proud, strong and brave (if not a bit stubborn and old-fashioned) Lord of Winterfell, the icy kingdom of the north. And, Peter Dinklage, who gives, as ever, a wonderful performance as Tyrion of House Lannister, a noble-born dwarf cursed by the hatred of his proud father but blessed with an unmatchable wit and intelligence.
The story is relatively straightforward insofar that nothing groundbreakingly orignal happens. Martin's fantasy literature is about believability and realism; it is completely unlike Tolkien in that way (I don't like to compare the two authors, but most people seem to be doing so lately). Whereas Tolkien favoured Orcs, Goblins, castles and wizards, Martin prefers the medieval touch, dealing with knights, lords and priests. The story is very intricate and may leave you slightly unfulfilled at the end of the series, but, bear in mind this is only the first part of seven.
One good thing, as a fan of the books, is that Martin had a very close hand in the production of this series which means very little tinkering has been done. If you compare it to The Pillars of the Earth for example, parts of the tv series didn't even come close to representing what happened in the book leaving hardcore fans a little bewildered, and not a little irritated. Martin's books though are so jam-packed with plot and character building that there really isn't much room for artistic license for the directors. They have a lot of story to get through, and only 10 episodes to do it in!!
If you have never read Martin before then, what can you expect? Well, it is fantasy first and foremost (like I said earlier, with a medieval twang). Without spoiling or giving anything away the main plot is basically this: the continent of Westeros, ruled by king Robert Baratheon, falls into turmoil amidst a hungry power struggle between the realms nobles and knights. Expect a lot of plot twists and cliffhangers at the end of each episode. A quick word of warning to any of those sensitive souls out there as well, this series contains graphic bloody violence, nudity (tactful), swearing and some scenes of a sexual nature. It certainly IS NOT for kids (like Lord of the Rings etc.).
Overall then I will sum up for you in some quick bullet points:
+ George R.R. Martin's literary masterpiece brought to life
+ great cast
+ wonderfully made, no corners have been cut, everything looks imaculate and professional
+ entertaining plot, good twists, beautiful ladies, handsome men, fighting, loving, laughing, crying (really, something for everybody here)
+ hour-episodes mean for a great amount of entertainment for your money
- series 1 deals with book 1 of 7, if you get into this now, don't expect to see the ultimate conclusion for at least another 10-15 years (the last two books haven't even been written yet)
- a little cliched in parts (I really didn't get this impression from the book though)
I would highly recommend people to take the time to see this series and get into the number 1 fantasy series of the modern era. I would also recommend that you buy and read the books. Thank you for reading.
180 of 192 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, Entertaining, Brilliant Drama,
This review is from: Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD]  (DVD)I was somewhat cynical when mentions of Game of Thrones cropped up all over the web with gushing reviews so it took me a while to give it a whirl.
Predictably though, I was hooked from the first of the ten episodes. Compelling, well cast characters - well known faces mixing with new - and engaging dialogue, there are some fantastic performances - not least Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke. This show is a much needed breath of fresh air in schedules crammed with middle of the road dramas and programmes well past their peak, it makes the fantasy genre watchable again and pulls you into it's world completely. Far from being hammy like many other programmes with a medieval/fantasy bent, it is complex, gritty and many layered. Nothing here of the brain dead TV that spoon feeds and recaps viewers every 15 minutes.
I'm now keen to read the books during the wait for season 2!
471 of 514 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Fantasy for Adults only..,
This review is from: Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD]  (DVD)I havent read the books so i am going to give an unbiased review of the television show only.
I think its fantastic, an amazing cast, extremely well written and authentic to the likes of which i had never seen.
This series is quite astonishingly violent, its brutal, bloody, graphic and will make you turn away from the screen, i know i have several times so far.
In some of the later episodes i was heaving, some of the scenes in it are quite astonishing disgusting they made me sick to my stomach, and im amazed in the sense that they have the guts to show it on screen, but this is what HBO does best, it pushes the boundaries. There is one scene where one of the characters eats a fresh horse heart and i was almost sick, but it was a vital moment in the storyline.
It comes with warnings about extreme violence and scenes of a sexual nature, so be warned if you are faint of heart because you will see blood, you will see killing, you will see sex, lots of it actually, and yes a few full frontal scenes do make it on screen, so if your a prude i really wouldnt buy it.
This show is going to go on to be know as one of the greatest television shows ever made, the attention to detail is astounding, the opening credits are probably the best i have ever seen on a tv show, and the Dothraki language for example was created especially for the show.
George R R martin who wrote the books is an executive producer of the show and co-writer so you can bet that not only will the show follow his books to the letter but that also 50% of the main cast will be dead before it ends.
The casting is brilliant, Sean bean is amazing as Ned Stark, Mark addy as King Robert is also brilliant and watching the friendship between these 2 on screen is quite marvellous to see.
I really like Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jamie Lannister. he is sexy and charming but quite vile, and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister is hilarious, he is funny, charming, sarcastic, brave and prob the nicest of the Lannisters and should win Emmmys for his performance.
The stand out actor for me however is Emilia Clarke who plays Daenerys or Dany. She is sublime in this role, she is sweet, naive, submissive and fragile, sexy and strong and really comes into her own over the course of the season. I have been told that She plays a very important and large role throughout the entire book series so i shall look forward to watching her role grow.
The very end shot of the season finale will literally put chills down your spine, incredible.
I will not write a detailed synopsis as i hate spoilers so i will give you a premise into what the show is about
Set in the fictional realms of Westeros and Essos, A Song of Ice and Fire follows three principal storylines, divided by geography and participants, struggling to claim the Iron Throne and rule all the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
Each of the following houses are battling to win the right to rule the kingdoms.
House Baratheon - Robert Baratheon is currently King.
House Lannister - Robert is married to Cersei Lannister
House Stark - Eddard stark is the current hand to King Robert.
House Targaryen - Daenerys is married to a horse warlord called Khal Drogo
What you need to know is that the entire 1st season of Game of thrones is based on the book written by George R R Martin A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) and HBO have said that each concurrent season will be based on the books in sequence so there will be 5 seasons in total, however George R R Martin has now written a 5th book and plans to write 2 more so potentially there could be 8 seasons as book 3 was written in 2 parts.
If you wish to read the books in sequence here are the links:
Book 2 - A Clash of Kings: Book 2 of A Song of Ice and Fire
Book 3 part 1 - A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3 Part 1)
Book 3 part 2 - A Storm of Swords: 2 Blood and Gold (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3, Part 2)
Book 4 - A Feast for Crows: Book 4 of A Song of Ice and Fire
Book 5 - A Dance With Dragons: Book 5 of A Song of Ice and Fire (Song of Ice & Fire 5)
Books 6 and 7 will be called The Winds of Winter and A dream of spring and will be published in the next few years.
I dont know about you, but now having seen all 10 episodes i want to know what happens next so i am going to buy the books and start reading.
The score written by Ramin Djawadi is beautiful and dramatic and really adds to the suspensefullness of the show.
One last thing, this show is not for kids, i wouldnt let anyone under the age of 16 watch it personally, it is made completely for adults and its nice to see a show that does not pander to the rules of censorship.
A classic in the making !!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TV doesn't get better than this.,
This review is from: Game of Thrones - Season 1 (Includes 'Creating The Visuals' Bonus Disc - Amazon.co.uk Exclusive) [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)I rarely find myself captivated by anything on TV these days, but Game of Thrones certainly changed all that. Not only is it a brilliant adaptation of the book it's based on, but it manages to incorporate new scenes and confrontations between characters, which improve upon the book even more. The casting is also inspired, Sean Bean shines as Ned Stark, as he did as Boromir in the LOTR while lesser known young performers such as Jack Gleeson (Joffrey) and Maisie Williams (Arya) do a fantastic job, recreating the characters perfectly. If you're a fan of the fantasy genre, or hell, even if you're not, this series deserves a watch, it's the best TV I've watched for years.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, on every level.,
This review is from: Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD]  (DVD)Where to start? Beautiful scenery, diverse well rounded characters, and more twists than a bag of pasta.
I started watching this series with absolutely no knowledge of the George RR Martin books from which it was written. I had nothing invested in these characters beforehand, no preconceptions and, other than having seen an advert for the series before the launch of sky atlantic, no hype to live up to.
Right from the first episode I was hooked. It was fantasy as I know and love, but something was different? The way these characters spoke, behaved and reacted to one another felt so much more real! There is no posturing, no grand prophecies filled with foreboding, etc. Though not completely original, it seemed to be avoiding a lot of cliches too.
The real lynch pin(s) of this first series have to be the brilliant Sean Bean, who plays Eddard Stark - Lord of Winterfell (one of the seven kingdoms in which the series is based); along with the similarly superb Mark Addy, who plays Robert Baratheon - King of the aforementioned seven Kingdoms. For a show that has no real clear 'good' or 'bad' characters, these two really stand out early on. However, as the series progressed - I started to find all the accompanying characters just as compelling.
The story, deep and complex as it is, revolves around a variety of Houses or Families as they struggle to maintain the balance of peace in the lands whilst simultaneously struggling for the power of the iron throne (upon which Mark Addy sits). After the untimely death of his right hand man, King Robert (Addy) calls upon his friend Ned Stark of Winterfell (Bean) to join him at his court as the hand of the king. A reluctant Stark agrees to join him and slowly begins to uncover threads of conspiracy, deceit and possibly murder that he tries to piece together while the King drinks, eats and enjoys the company of ladies other than his wife.
No one family or House is painted as the House the viewer should support (as one reviewer wrote: the characters are all painted in shades of grey; some more grey than others). Interestingly, as you get to know the various characters a good number become firm favourites - even when their ultimate goals are directly opposing. Game of Thrones reminded me very much of The Wire in this way; you find yourself wishing for impossible outcomes as for one favourite to succeed, the other must fail.
Aside from the King and his hand, there are a number of other quality characters that emerge as the story progresses. Much has been made of Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister - and rightly so. The Imp, as he is so called, is the comic relief, sharpest wit and unsung hero at different times. Relative newcomer, Kit Harrington, shines as Jon Snow - the illegitimate son of Ned Stark; also Alfie Allen continues to impress as stark's ward, Theon Greyjoy.
However, I feel I have to make mention of the incredible talent of one Jerome Flynn - yes THAT Jerome Flynn, as in "Robson and Jerome". He plays a relatively small part of Bronn, a hired sword in the company of Tyrion Lannister. A lot has been said of Peter Dinklage, but I feel its the quality and chemistry of his AND Jerome Flynn's characters that make for the most memorable scenes.
I was eagerly anticipating season 2 of the great epic, until my EVENTUAL realisation that this series is based of the Song of Fire and Ice series of books (sorry long term Martin fans!!!) and have promptly gone and bought the first 4 books in the series. I am at the end of the second book so far and it has me very excited for April when the second season comes to the UK!
Highly recommended series, my favourite TV show of the last few years! Let's hear it for Jerome!
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Bean,
This review is from: Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD]  (DVD)When I saw the cast list, I must admit I thought "Oh no, not Sean Bean again", an actor who always seems to be cast in the role of the tough, yet gentle, gritty northener when the part demands it, and, sure enough, in this series, he's cast as Eddard Stark, the honourable lord of the northern holding Winterfell. And there's no other actor who could have played the part as magnificently as he does. Either Bean was born to play this part or George RR Martin had him in mind when he was writing his sprawling epic.
The rest of the cast is equally strong, my favourite being Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, the epitome of the anti-hero. Those of you familiar with the story will know exactly what I mean.
I cannot praise this series highly enough. Miss it and you'll miss one of the truly great television masterpieces of the modern age. I'd have given it ten stars if it had been possible.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling tale.,
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This review is from: Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD]  (DVD)I don't know why, but this is just one of those shows that you can say "ok, just one more" and feel justified. An incredibly gripping plot filled with little twists and turns. Brilliant.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW,
This review is from: Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD]  (DVD)I have read the books and have been waiting, not very patiently, for the final chapter. The TV series is fantastic and a must for everyone to see - above the age of 18!! whether they are fantasy fans or not. The fight scenes are the best you will ever see. The love stories break your heart and tear at your soul. The intrigue, plotting and back stabbing will have you gasping. There is terrible saddness and great comedy. Whether it is "your thing" on not it must be seen so that you will understand how a true masterpiece is produced.
Without giving any spoilers the fact that I had read the books did not affect my love of the show. Knowing what happened to some of the characters added to my enjoyment. When friends said to me "I bet so-and-so does this" etc...I just smiled and said "We will see"!!
Seeing the show has made me want to read the books again, and I have just started on the first one and I am enjoying it as much if not more than I did before because I can now put faces to the characters. None of the characters in the show disappointed, sometimes when you love a book you cannot relate to the actor they have cast in the film as they are nothing like the character in the book - Bella in Twilight for example. In this show though every actor fits the character in the book as if the part had been written for them - even the children, who were wonderful.
I cannot wait for the next series to be made. I will buy the DVDs to sit proudly on my bookshelf, next to the books. The only other time I have done this is with the DVDs of Lord of the Rings.
32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Respect at last.,
This review is from: Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD]  (DVD)At last someone(HBO)has seen fit to produce a full and undiluted screen version of this genre.I have not read this book yet but having previously read all the Deverry and Krondor novels I felt right from the start of this production that here was a world I understood and was comfortable in.The story flowed along and nothing was left out with regards the blood,language, incest and intrigue.In short,respect at last for the genre.
The acting was also first class.Normally I find the stories are so watered down that the actors disinterest is obvious for all to see.This can not be said of this production and it seems to me that these type of stories are now where actors can extend themselves in a way they would only have been able to previously in theatrical productions.
All in all I think this is groundbreaking stuff and will hopefully set the benchmark for future projects of this nature.
The actual story has been described in detail by others and all I can add to this is that people previously unconvinced by this genre may now think again.10/10 from me and roll on part 2.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!,
This review is from: Game of Thrones - Season 1 Gift Set [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)This is probably one of the greatest tv shows around this decade! I can barely falter it! The acting is sublime! The action is amazing and the story, well what do you expect from a best selling book series. A word of warning to anyone unaware.... This is not for kids! There is vast amounts of sex, lies and spies! Id recommend the show to anyone who enjoys good tv, at least give it a go In my opinion!
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Game of Thrones - Season 1 [DVD]  by Sean Bean (DVD - 2012)