1,104 of 1,129 people found the following review helpful
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 imacculate 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.
(Thank you to everyone who found my review useful. I hope you are enjoying GOT!)
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Showing 1-10 of 29 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Jan 2012 23:31:20 GMT
Series 2 of Game of Thrones is due to air on HBO this April. The series will comprise of books two and three of A Song of Ice and Fire, so you might not have to wait as long as 15 years for the ultimate conclusion. Fingers crossed that HBO doesn't rush the series and lose the epic charm of the books!! Thanks for voting!!
Posted on 23 Jan 2012 10:46:11 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jan 2012 10:51:54 GMT
Great review! The series is incredibly close to the novel really, just a few details have been changed and scenes moved around, but overall it's one of the best adaptations I've ever seen.
@Pankow27 - they're seriously wedging two books in to one series?!? Unless that series is at least 20 episodes long then I don't see how they could possibly do the books justice - book 3 alone comprises around 1000 pages of densely-written, story heavy fantasy, split across two volumes (in most countries).
They are also the best, most action-packed books so far written - I am currently reading A Feast for Crows and am finding it much less compelling as it feels like 'filler'.
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jan 2012 18:07:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jan 2012 18:08:18 GMT
You noticed it at the end of the first series how they overlapped it slightly, introducing the beginning of Clash of Kings. It is only what I've read however (regarding season 2 comprising of two books) but I, like you, see a serious problem if they are going to do that seeing as how a Storm of Swords is so long and epic.
Don't worry about Feast for Crows. Martin actually wrote that more than six years ago along with the newest one, Dance withDragons. They were intended to be one book, but, as he wrote so much material, and wanted to give each point of view character the attention they deserved, he split them into two. Unfortunately, this can give readers the impression that there is a lot missing. But, it's better to treat book 4 and 5 as one long volume, rather than as two, because both of them overlap in terms of storyline, and each makes the other make sense. Keep it up though, it does get better!
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Feb 2012 10:02:26 GMT
Season 2 will only contain Book 2. They might wedge in a slither of Book 3 at the end, but it will largely be just Book 2. They've said they're actually splitting Book 3 into two seasons of their own, so Season 3 and Season 4 will be Book 3.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2012 10:17:31 GMT
That would make a lot more sense. It would be a shame to see any aspect of the series rushed.
In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2012 13:08:51 GMT
Quality review mate. You successfully describe one of the best TV shows in recent history. I just can't believe there are people that give this show 2 stars!
Posted on 10 Feb 2012 19:37:33 GMT
C. R. Morley says:
i really enjoyed GAME OF THRONES on tv,though not being a reader at all i found it very complex and folk seem to pop off just when you start to relate to them,i must say i am looking forward to the next series on tv,i think tv is the best medium for this work but to compare this to lotr is a joke the two are so far apart its no true,perhaps game of thrones is more like many dragon movies but spread out a lot good tv and good to own on dvd but lotr it aint
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2012 15:06:39 GMT
They're not putting book 3 into series 2 however for the benefit of the show they have moved some things from book 2 back to series 3 and brought some things forward to series 2 and some things cut all together. I read an article about it the other day. We have to remember that it is an 'adaptation' and some things in the book wont work for the show and need to be changed. At the end of the day GRRM is also a writer and producer on the show so if he thought any changes were detrimental to the saga he wouldnt allow them.
In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2012 08:14:34 GMT
That makes a lot of sense re. continuity for TV adaptation given the style the books are written in, remember, even George Martin felt it necessary to add 'A Note on Chronology' at the beginning of 'A Storm of Swords'!
Having said that, it is precisely this style (telling the story from a variety of perspectives, making each book essentially several smaller ones woven together) that makes the books such compulsive reading, with the conclusion of a situation often several chapters ahead...
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Mar 2012 23:46:42 GMT
K. Staden says:
If you are not a reader.... this could be the place to start, you will be from then on!! The TV series is excellent, now imagine something even better. And thise characters just popping off, might make more sense....