Game of Thrones, S1 Ep1 – Winter is Coming

Game of Thrones

The accents threw me a little, though. I always read the Starks as being Scottish (in the spirit of full disclosure, yes I’m from Scotland myself), but it would seem that Northern in this context means the North of England. Ho hum. I know that the cast is largely British anyway, and props to Peter Dinklage’s accent; but Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, playing Jaime Lannister, is Danish, and it shows. He’s great, but the idea that he and Lena Headley’s Cersei were raised together and are pretty much joined at the hip (and, ahem, other organs) doesn’t ring true. Ah well, maybe that’s just me being picky, and I wonder if Americans who aren’t as familiar with the vagaries of British regional accents would notice.

This is clearly not fantasy for kids. Well, it is HBO, after all. There’s the fucking, for starters. Both the word and the deed, including Tyrion’s whores, Viserys being quite happy to give his sister a quick fondle before packing her off to marry the horselord, and all the shenanigans at their wedding. Of course this is nothing compared to Cersei and Jaime in that tower. I knew it was coming and it still made me gasp. The sex and the violence (and yes, the rape and the incest and entrails, too) are too much part of these books to be censored, so hurrah for HBO making it.

But it’s not perfect. The CGI of Bran clambering over the rooftops was fairly dreadful, when even I know that it’s possible to shoot that sort of thing at an angle where he’s barely off the ground and you have a real sky behind him. Ah well. And I’m still not sure of what to make of Dany and Khal Drogo’s ‘love’ scene. That’s the biggest change from the books that I noticed, and I’m not sure that how they played it on screen will gel with how their relationship plays out. Well, how it plays out in the books. They will change things, I know that. I’m half intrigued and half scared to see what those changes will be.

Which brings me full circle again and back to the difference between those who have read the books and those who haven’t. Most of the programmes covered here on With An Accent will be viewed differently based on geography, but I’m not so sure that applies in this case.  The camps here are readers and non-readers (of the books, I hasten to add), and that has flavoured all the posts and blogs I’ve read about the show and is inevitable in my own review, too.  It’s at this point that, in a show not based on books I know and love, I would be speculating wildly about what happens next in a series that has grabbed me from the off. Part of me is a little bit sad that I know whether or not Bran survives that fall and what happens when Ned goes to King’s Landing, and so on. It’s really cool, though, to see the foreshadowing of how unpleasant Joffrey was at the feast, without even a word spoken, and knowing how Dany reacts to all that has happened to her. I appear to have been won over by the adaption already and would say to anyone who hasn’t read the books, you are in for a wild ride, trust me.

1 2