GAME OF THRONES - Season 1
With Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Emilia Clarke, Mark Addy, Iain Glen, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Kit Harington
Directed by Tim Van Patten, Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Alan Taylor
HBO changed the way everyone perceived what TV can be, producing controversial, gritty and adult programming that is definitely not for the kids - from racey stand-up comedy specials to shows like Oz, Sex And The City, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm and True Blood.
With Game Of Thrones, HBO dives into the medieval fantasy world of the book series created by George R.R. Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire, a theme not many have attempted on TV before (excluding Sam Raimi's silly Hercules and Xena).
At the heart of the seven kingdoms in this savagely competitive realm of vast contrasts, comprising Westeros (and Essos), the lust for control (and all of life's other temptations) are centered on the power struggle for the iron throne.
The first season introduces you to most of the nobel houses, sub groups and tribes varying in culture, temperament and attitude - all involved in a never ending conflict. The main groups comprise House Stark, House Lannister, House Targaryen and House Baratheon, to House Bolton, House Umber, House Tully, House Florent, House Martell and House Redwyne.
Kings, queens, warriors, prostitutes, corrupt politicians, innocents and tainted - they're all here.
Here seasons can last a decade, and winter is coming. Old friends are united when King Robert Baratheon (married to a Lannister) arrives at Eddard Stark's homestead of King's Landing, compelling him to become The Hand Of The King, a fateful decision which together with other actions kickstart more actions bound to lead to disaster and many deaths. The wives, sons and daughters of these three pivotal houses are introduced and will become key players in this power hungry tale of alliances, betrayal, murder, war, violence, corruption, sex, incest and madness.
More primitive tribes like the Dothraki and elusive Wildlings also make part of this vicious land and we meet the (blonde) Daenerys Targaryen whose brother marries her off to the Dothraki warrior tribe's leader in exchange for an army to take back the throne in Westeros. But she is not destined to be a mere concubine, her role unfolding to fiery effect as the tale progresses in the next season.
All manner of adult themes find its way into this exciting series with fantastic locations, great design and wardrobe, but is hardly all there is to it, as a whole lot of narrative drama underly the visceral aspects of this harsh land.
With many characters, objectives and plots intertwined, this is set to become one hell of a series unlike anything the TV world has experienced.
Several extra features in this 5-disc set include 7 commentaries from the makers, featurettes on the making and adaptation of the series, a look at the various houses and lands of Westeros, the opening animated title sequence, 15 main character profiles and more.
5 / B
- Paul Blom
cover images below
Game Of Thrones series