When I first heard about HBO’s new show Game of Thrones I admit I was immediately intrigued. HBO has a reputation for great television and I am a sucker for anything fantasy. To be honest most fantasy TV (and books) suck. They rely on campy action, cheesy quests, generic characters and bad writing. So my hopes are pretty high that maybe HBO will do one right. After one episode I am not hooked, but I am interested.
First of all, let me get the disclaimers out of the way. The show takes full advantage of the fact it is on HBO and the producers know their audience well because it has a lot of nudity and sex. Seriously, they should rename it Game of Bones. I am not easily offended but it was a bit absurd. So if these things don’t bother you or you just really like boobies then continue.
Second disclaimer: It is relatively violent. If you are squeamish about decapitations and mutilated bodies then you should also avoid this one show. It isn’t on the level of a zombie apocalypse, but it isn’t for the faint of heart either.
All that aside, it is earned another showing. The story is based off the best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin and follows the plight of a group of noble families vying for the throne of the Kingdom of Westeros. The plot centers around the Stark family of Winterfell and their many children whom are easily confused with one another. Sean Bean plays Eddard “Ned” Stark, the patriarch of the family and long standing friend and defender of the King. After a prominent assassination, the King visits Ned to ask an important favor of Ned. One Ned is reluctant to do but feels he has no way out. At the same time, enter in the rise of an ancient, mysterious evil, the political manipulations of the old monarchy trying to regain power, and some weird family relations and the stage is set for a potentially compelling show.
I love Sean Bean in this role, for those who are unfamiliar with him, he played Borimir in The Lord of the Rings. He is a solid actor and he is a good in the fantasy genre. As a fantasy fan I really like what this show is attempting to do: that is create a fantasy story that is well written and driven by characters and story rather than cheap hack and slash quests.
One of the other things I like is that one of the main characters is a dwarf, er little person? Midget? I am not sure of the P.C. term these days, but I think it is pretty gutsy to have him in a non-traditional role.
Will the show succeed? HBO seems to think so. After just one episode they already signed on to a second season. It would appear that so far A Game of Thrones also wins in a game of ratings.
Check it out, especially if you like fantasy, I want to hear what you babblers think. I only have episode to base this rating on so this obviously doesn’t reflect the entire series but for now I give it 3.5 Babbles.