Game of Thrones – Season 1

Boy, that took a long time, I said while I was watching the second to last episode of the season. But all those characters, all these plotlines, all those details – they’ve finally come together. The series finally has a sense, a direction. My co-viewers looked at me and rolled their eyes. A correction was in order. “Fine: I took a long time.”

Itchy Trigger Finger Martin

Game of Thrones is a massive undertaking, even for a channel like HBO. For those not in the know, we’re talking a seven-book fantasy series, five of which have been finished. The books can easily be called mastodonts – they’d be a good paperweight for me. They juggle massive amounts of characters around, all of which are important to the plot, most of which never interact with each other.

So yeah, start memorizing those names. You’ll need it.

Immediately, the premise fills me with fear. And I think of Deadwood, awesome, tragic Deadwood, shot dead before its time – three seasons. Of Carnivale – two seasons. Of Boardwalk Empire, which I love, but in my heart fear won’t last beyond the three-season mark. Will they ever finish this series? Martin (who is known for killing off his characters and annoying the shit out of his readers doing so) hasn’t even finished the series yet. And we all know what happens when you try to adapt a non-finished series of books into movies or television (You’re a wizard, Harry; we forgot the two-way mirror, Harry).

Mister Penis, meet Miss Dragon

And boy, is this series a mess. It juggles around all characters and the excruciatingly complex plotline and still hopes to get away with it. But even I, who watched the first few episodes with growing smugness and cynicism, have to admit that they pulled it off. At a certain point towards the end of the season, when everyone had shed their moral ambiguity and it became very (very) clear which were the good, the bad and the ugly, I noticed that I had invested in the characters after all, and I even felt myself cheering them on!

And then the season ended and nothing actually happened. It reminded me of Locke and Jack looking down the hatch – but not in a good way.

In All…

But there you have it. You should check this out. But boy, don’t expect to be able to follow when you’re as bad with names as I am. Watch it with someone else who’s read the books, but won’t spoil and won’t keep pointing out the differences between book and film. Just have that safety net there, so you can ask questions like “Who’s the one who screws his sister again?”, “Are they talking about the midget?” and “I’m just going to call that bearded guy Mister Penis.”

Not a question.
True story.