Here is one that I know many people have been waiting anxiously to read, AOL TV’s Maureen Ryan has posted her review for Game of Thrones. Is it positive? Negative? I’d say it’s more positive than negative, but she does have a few criticisms of the series.
As a television series, ‘Game of Thrones’ is frequently handsome, even gorgeous at times. This tale of knights, kings and spectral threats is, in general, well-acted by an able cast, and once the Medieval-flavored story of courtly maneuvering and moral ambiguity gets into gear midway through the season, much of what works about the novels begins to work in the show.
Yet at various junctures, the TV show lacks the boldness on display in Martin’s fiction.
The show is faithful to the events of the novel, but, especially in the early going, it’s only fitfully faithful to the novel’s emotional depth and thematic complexity.
While a desire to diligently depict the incidents in Martin’s 807-page book (the first in his seven-novel ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ series) is admirable and even understandable, ‘Game of Thrones’ needed to be shaped more aggressively to fit the needs of a television drama. Each hour needed to have its own beginning, middle and end; more elements should have been rearranged, given additional context, amplified or eliminated.
Winter Is Coming: It’s great to get Mo’s take on the show. As someone who has seen the first six episodes, I can definitely see where she is coming from with her criticisms of the show. She is looking at it as a television series first and foremost and as a TV critic that is to be expected. As for me, I enjoyed every minute of the show, but that is because I was just so excited to see the book come to life. If you are like me, I think some of the issues she raises might not bother you as much.
UPDATE: Alan Sepinwall has also posted his review of the show. And, as expected, it is quite positive. Encouraging to read from someone who hasn’t read the books.
There’s so much going on in this series – so many people and places and rules to learn – that I feared I would be completely lost without the books as a roadmap. But as with the cream of the HBO crop, “Game of Thrones” deposits me in a world I never expected to visit and doesn’t leave me feeling stranded and adrift, but eager to immerse myself in the local culture.