I recently finished watching the first season of HBO’s newest series: Game of Thrones, based on the book series “A Song of Fire and Ice” by George R. R. Martin.
The series is a fictional medieval drama, set in the seven kingdoms of Westeros. Each section of those kingdoms is ruled by a different lord, all of whom have to obey the king who sits on the Ivory Throne.
The show’s main protagonists are the Stark family, one of the noble families of the Kingdom, and the rulers of the North. Lord Ned Stark, the father, is soon appointed hand of the king, Robert, when the former hand dies in mysterious circumstances and is, therefore, forced to leave his family and relocate with his two daughters to the kingdom’s capital, leaving his wife and oldest son to care for his people in the North. But in a world where treason is a way of life, where insincerity and lies keep you alive, Ned Stark doesn’t fit – especially when he learns the truth about the king’s son.
Another storyline taking place in the show happens at the far North of Westeros where Lord Stark’s bastard son (yes, he is referred to as such in the series) joins the Night’s Watch, a brotherhood that protects the built barrier in that location against “The Others” that exist beyond it.
Moreover, in the neighboring realm of Essos, the two remaining members of House Targaryen strike a deal with vicious barbarians in order to reclaim the Iron Throne, which was taken away from them when king Robert took charge and exiled them. Princess Daenerys soon finds herself leaving the fragility of her former life and assuming the firm role of Khalissi, head queen of the barbarians and my favorite character. But her family heritage remains in her blood, making her a hybrid between both cultures, and another claimant to the Iron Throne.
This is Khalissi:
Game of Thrones is, in the bigger sense, the game between the different Lords to claim the Iron Throne. It is a show about power struggles and about the basic human nature quality of striving for more power. It showcases how badly some people handle the power given to them and the cruelty that may arise when such people reach powerful positions.
The show is highly engaging. And at ten episodes for the first season, proceeds rather quickly with its plot. One of its strong points is its ability to focus on the many storylines taking place without it getting stuck on one of them. Moreover, there’s an impeccable element of professionalism in the series: the cinematography, art direction, locations… everything is chosen with the utmost consideration of details, making the series beautiful to look at as well.
Game of Thrones is, as every HBO production I’ve watched, a raunchy series. The episodes are filled with many sex scenes where more than basic human anatomy is revealed. However, unlike other TV shows where such scenes are only used for shock-effect, in Game of Thrones, they serve the plot and are, at some points, pivotal moment for the plot’s advancement and serve as a way to reveal hidden motives with many characters.
All in all, Game of Thrones is a highly recommended series. You will enjoy it even if you’re not even remotely interested in medieval shows or blood and gore (yes, there are way too many bloody scenes of decapitations and the like). However, it remains a show with an impeccable storyline that feels more cinematic than TV-like. The makers’ decision to translate the books into a TV series, not a movie, is a great decision and will allow them to remain true to the books and include more and more details that we, as viewers, would have missed otherwise.